I graduate high school in less than two weeks.
This is no new prospect to me. My peers have scribbled countdowns onto every whiteboard, student planner, and corners of assignments that they can get their hands on. Even the teachers have acknowledged that their students are not always mentally there. I’ve crossed off each passing calendar day just as the rest of the crowd has, but sitting down and thinking about what that really means, it’s very overwhelming.
For the last thirteen school years, we’ve all rolled out of bed and spent the majority of our waking moments in various educational facilities. As we’ve gotten older, at least in my own life, we’ve stayed up most of the night doing homework, waken up at the crack of dawn to squeeze more work time in, and jam-packed our days with extracurricular activities. Years and years of work represented in a small walk across the stage.
So much of high school has been dedicated to preparing us for college, or even more – for life aftercollege. Senior year has fluttered by in a blur, because everybody is so focused on going to other places, meeting new people, discovering different activities and dreams. What about focusing on NOW? There are little things about the school experience that I’ve taken for granted, and I probably won’t even realize that they existed until I’m somewhere new. It’s weird to think that on my first day of college, I won’t have a group of buddies to walk with between classes; no familiar teacher to go say ‘”hello” to, and maybe not even knowing where the accessible bathrooms are on campus. These little reassurances are rarely appreciated now, but I’m starting to realize that life will sure be weird without them.
I know that the future is bright, and there are exciting opportunities that lie outside of my hometown. I know that by now, going to the same school with the same crowd is mentally draining. I also know how many minutes of class I’ve spent envisioning college classes instead of copying down notes. But maybe, just maybe, for these last few days, I’ll actually look around and appreciate what I’m leaving behind. My high school experience was not as drastically glamorous as the movies portray, but it has molded me into what I am, and for that, I eternally owe my gratitude to this small town.
Note: Kyleigh is our 2013 Carol Phan Scholarship recipient. :-)
Drive Safe! Never Forget.