If you are a YA writer, and you don't have any young friends, I am telling you right now, get yourself to a graduation ceremony. I went to two yesterday, because my little brother graduated from High School, and then to my own school's graduation to see my own students graduate.
In an odd (odd because I was a very cynical high school student who was very cynical and unmoved by her own high school graduation) it was very moving. And I cried.
There's just something about seeing that transition from child to adult...and the memories, and the speakers tend to be the kids who actually LIKED high school, but still...
YA writers write about coming of age, and graduation is all about that.
You can bet that there are kids in the audience who are ecstatic that high school is over. There are kids who are devastated, frightened, nervous. There are kids who bought into "these are the best years of your life" and kids who made them the best years of their lives, and kids who are waiting for the best years of their lives to start. And there are kids...who aren't really kids any more.