Tuesday, May 24th, 21:45
This is the beginning of a series of posts that I will be writing as my last year of high school comes to a close.
Final Thoughts will be streams of consciousness written late at night, covering every aspect of my high school career, reflecting upon and appreciating these past 4 years.
This is it, and one day, I want to read these posts, and I want to remember this as I remember it now.
Final Thoughts is an appropriate name for this series because, honestly, this is the last time in my life that I’ll ever be allowed to cry over high school.
High school will never be as important to me as it is right now at this moment. Yes, I believe it was a lot more important to me in years past, because, of course, I’ve grown up a bit and college is looking more and more tantalizing every day.
Yet, if I regret anything in high school, it would be my overlooking the first half of my senior year for the sake of college. It was necessary, yes, we all go through it, however, there was a period of time wasted over my cynicism and pure anxiousness to get the heck out of dodge and graduate already.
I didn’t realize at the time that I was growing up way too fast. I was looking at something in retrospect that was very much so still happening right before my eyes.
I’ve spent these past 6 months trying to stop being so emotional and overthinking things. I thought I was cool because I had tons of foresight and rationale. I knew college was coming soon and I just needed to keeping DOING things. I wouldn’t do anything unless it was directly benefitting my future, like an application or studying, and I stopped appreciating the things I had in front of me, because everything was just temporary to me, and that’s the reality of it.
While that sobering thought did ease the pain for a while, being satisfied with high school thus far and knowing it would be a good memory one day, I wish I felt more. I wish I spent the first semester of my last year clinging onto something so beautiful, desperate for one last taste of innocence and adolescence, not treating everything like it had already happened in the past.
We don’t realize it, but high school is very pure, essentially. I can’t speak for everyone, in fact, I speak from a very privileged background and childhood that I have been blessed with by the hard work of my parents, so my experience is not at all what everyone else has experienced, but there is some universality buried deep in here somewhere.
I have had free public education. I live under my parents’ roof, with them paying for a lot of my things. I got to go to dances, scream at football games, crush on boys, act petty, stress myself out over nothing. I was forgiven for so much; being young is so forgiving.
The word to describe this period of time, aka the end of senior year, is “bittersweet”.
Yet throughout all of adolescence nothing has to be bitter yet because we haven’t come to terms with the idea of it ever ending. Mr. Myers, my Stats teacher, told us today that once you become an adult, every experience you have is bittersweet. And he’s right, and graduation is just the beginning of that.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to get the heck out of dodge. I am excited as hell to get to the Farm and be in college, in fact, I cannot wait. However, high-school has been my whole entire world for 4 years. The public education system has been my whole entire world. 8am to 3pm, 2 months of summer vacation, same classes every day, same people every day, drama, friends, laughter, stress– all eventually manageable because we all figured out, after 12 years of schooling, how to finesse for 7 hours a day.
It’s all I’ve known, and for it to no longer be mine anymore is a scary thought.
Once I graduate, I won’t be able to sign yearbooks in the same heartfelt way I would in the last two weeks of school, because once Grad Night is over, the imminence of our mortality won’t be as pressing. There is beauty in urgency and desperation, wishing to bear to someone the very things you know you’ll never have the chance to tell them again. Once I graduate, I can’t cry over not being able to walk into ES101 as a Leadership student anymore. It’ll just be a room that I once called home. Once I graduate, I can’t cry over the idea of leaving the Theatre program and the safe, beautiful place it was for me and my friends. It’ll just be a troupe I am proud to be a part of.
Once I graduate, everything is just a good memory. I’ll be looking forward to something greater because I can’t keep looking back and wishing for the past. High school is no longer going to be something in my life that I’ll miss; it will be something that I used to have that I remember dearly.
And that’s a bit scary.
Appreciate what you have, kids. Live in the moment. That’s so clichéd, but really, nothing will ever be as golden and pure as it is right now and one day you’re going to realize that everything will come to an end eventually.
Be present, have fun, and stay in dodge for a while. You won’t be able to call it home ever again.