Today one local hospital is celebrating those milestones with a graduation specifically for cancer survivors.
The teens are in it together as they get ready for a special high school graduation as they all they share something in common, Cancer.
"I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 4 and I relapsed in 2004," said Matthew Arbess.
Matt missed almost 4 years of school for cancer treatment but went on to be a straight A student and class president.
And now matt is among the many young people who are proof of what's possible. This special convocation at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is for teens who have spent weeks and months in the hospital.
With resilience and strength they all made it this far.
"I was in and out of the hospital for chemotherapy and 7 weeks of radiation which is awful and just the worst experience but it makes you so much stronger," said Alli Clark, who is battling brain cancer.
Also making this happen behind the scenes are not only the doctors and nurses, but the teachers.
Through the city's hospital schools program, there are full time teachers in 39 hospitals helping to make sure kids graduate on time.
"I'm excited for college next year where i can go with a clean slate and tell who I want to tell and be my own person," adds Ali.
As Matthew heads off to Brown University, he says he wants to put cancer behind him.
"I think it provides closure everything is finally coming to an end and you're seeing other people who went through the same thing- people who can relate to you , it's nice to know you're not alone," he said.