This past month, millions of students graduated. Few people regret finishing school but most regretted graduating online via Zoom during the '20 and '21 pandemic.
Larry Smith believes everyone has a story. Since 2006, he's asked readers to submit their own six-word memoirs at SMITH Magazine. Try writing your own following this video.
He compiled the best ones in the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure.
Examples of six-word memoirs from the book:
Coulda, shoulda, woulda: a regretful life.
Aging late bloomer. Yearns for do-over.
I hope to outlive my regrets.
Many risky mistakes, very few regrets.
Wasted time regretted, so life reinvented.
No Wife. No Kids. No Problems.
Class of 2021 Six-word memoirs: I had the pleasure to ask six graduates what it meant to be part of the Class of '21 graduating from primary, secondary or post-secondary school. Here's what they said:
Six words: School's out. Be happy it happened.
Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy because it happened.
—Drew Putt, Elementary Education, Toronto
Six words: Unexpected chaos that allowed for introspection.
The year felt incomplete, particularly lonely with no in-person classes. Having dreamt of graduation and prom with none attained, the fact that I graduated has still not sunk in.
—Harsh-Deep Benipal, Secondary School Diploma, West Humber Collegiate Institute, Toronto
Six words: Graduation begins yet a new journey.
Be proud of the road you have walked and how far you have come but remember the journey has just begun.
—Mechan Staple Jr., Secondary School Diploma, Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute, Toronto
Six words: Sanitizing groceries, TikTok, lectures on bed
Wanted to experience a college experience here in Canada, but instead I experienced how to get your post-graduate certificate while you are laying on a bed all day, cried the whole journey but graduated with honors anyway. Just a reminder for the next step, challenge yourself, believe in your abilities and trust the process.
—Mennatallah Fahmy, Post Graduate Certificate, Centennial College, Toronto
Six words: Masked mailman and you, the convocation.
I returned to school because I felt like I was stagnating. The MFA program provided the creative spark I craved. Graduating in 2021 was bittersweet because while it felt like an accomplishment, it was a surreally quiet one, like a tree falling in a forest.
—Virginia Heffernan, MFA in Creative Non-fiction, University of King’s College, Halifa
Six words: Pregnant mother graduates for daughter's future.
I'll tell my daughter, Yara, about how I was 40 weeks pregnant, writing my final paper for my Master's in Education. I'll tell her how I nearly postponed it because I was worried about additional stress while pregnant. We'll discuss what it means to dream big and pursuing ambitions. I'll remind her that nothing is impossible and that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to. Then she'll have this moment where she'll realize she can do anything in this entire world and nothing will ever be able to stop her. Being a mom and obtaining my master's degree means a better future for my daughter and having her know that she CAN and WILL move mountains. As a mom, it doesn't get much better than that.
—Elysha Daya, Master of Education, OISE University of Toronto, Toronto