Graduating from high school or college this year? Congratulations! This is such a big deal, maybe even bigger than you think. Donning that cap and gown and grabbing your diploma is actually the most epic milestone of them all. Wanna know why? We’ve got five reasons below:

You’ve proven how strong you are.

School is not for the faint of heart. It’s challenging, stressful, and demanding. All those mornings you woke up early to get to class on time… all those nights you stayed up late studying for tests or writing papers… all those times you kicked butt on said tests and papers. We know at the time it was tough, but this is the moment to look back on it and realize it was all worth the work.

You’ve learned so much.

Think about when you first started school — let’s go all the way back to first grade for purposes of this exercise. Take a second to reflect on how much you’ve learned through the years. Remember how exciting it was to learn the alphabet? Cursive writing? How to speak in French? All of these little lessons may not feel that significant as they’re happening through the years, but you’ve come a long way, baby! Even in just the last four years, you’ve added so much to your brain, ya smartie.

You’ve made great memories.

That time you and your friends killed it in the school talent show… that time at prom where you had to pinch yourself that this was your life… the belly laughs at lunch… the championship wins on the field… all of these moments have made you into the amazing person you are, and you wouldn’t have gotten to experience them had you not been in school.

You’ve set yourself up for success.

A diploma isn’t just a piece of paper — it’s proof that you know how to do the work and see things through to the end. This bodes well for you when it comes to your career. Whether you’re working your way up the corporate ladder or being an entrepreneur and starting your own business, that little piece of paper is proof that you have what it takes.

It’s something to celebrate.

Just like a birthday, a graduation is something you should honor. But this celebration comes only a couple of times in your life (depending on your college and post-grad plans, of course), so you should really do it up! Plan a party and give yourself the credit you deserve. You graduated! That’s going to be one of the biggest and proudest accomplishments in your life.