Evan Millham says he couldn’t help feeling nostalgic as he watched his only daughter cross the stage in her cap and gown at her high school graduation.
“It’s a weird experience. Especially seeing my daughter up there in the blue and gold and I think back to when I had the blue and gold on,” he said.
Millham, who graduated from Evan Hardy Collegiate in 1989, even bumped into one of his former teachers – whose son now teaches at the school – during Wednesday’s ceremony at Prairieland Park.
“It was a strange experience. It kind of makes you feel a little old,” he said.
The trip down memory lane reminded Millham of his own graduation day, and a banquet that’s hard to forget.
“My grad was the last wet grad they ever had, which, looking at it, is probably a good thing. I can tell you some scary stories about our night,” he said.
As for Millham’s 18-year-old daughter, Taylor Christensen, the idea of graduating is still too fresh.
“It was a crazy experience. I didn’t think it was going to come so soon – I still remember the first day of Grade 9,” she said.
For 18-year-old Emily Burton, graduation day was a full family affair. While taking photos with her aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, Burton said she was looking forward to an upcoming trip over the July long weekend.
“I’m not used to the fact school’s over, but hey I’m done and it’s out of the way, right?” she laughed.
Burton’s parents, Barb and James, also graduated from Evan Hardy.
“It hasn’t hit yet. I’m glad to see she’s graduated of course, that’s a big thing for her, for anyone really,” said James, a class of ‘92 grad.
“It’s not an ending; it’s the beginning of a new chapter coming up for her.”
Burton said she plans to work for most of the summer before starting a program in makeup artistry at MC College this August.
“The fact that she’s grown up now and moved out. They’ve got responsibility and they get to see what the real world is like,” Barb said.
After the cap and gown ceremony, most of the students shuffled off to various appointments across the city to prepare for the formal dinner and dance.
At Revamp Salon Company, 17-year-old Marissa Bertoia was getting her hair styled for the St. Joseph High School grad banquet.
“It’s actually unbelievable. Like it’s so surreal. I’ve been waiting for this moment for four years already and it came so fast, it feels like just yesterday I was graduating Grade 8,” she said.
“This experience … I’m halfway through and it’s already amazing.”
Bertoia grew up in Saskatoon and of her 220 fellow graduates, about 70 have been with her since kindergarten.
“Probably the last time we will all be together as a grade,” she said.
While grad hair styles have changed over the years, Revamp owner Celine Dupuis said the feeling on graduation day is always the same.
“It’s just a lot of disbelief. It feels like that first day you get into high school you have forever … but we all know, it all goes by so quickly,” she said.