The countdown, for me anyway, has begun. In exactly 50 days, the high school graduates of 2007 will be released into the world. Some will go straight back into school (as appealing as that sounds) and others will start their careers in the working world a little bit early. I can not help but to think of all the faces of the people I have grown up with and how much each one has changed over the years. The closest friends I had in sixth grade are now, six years later, almost strangers.
Our paths over the years have swerved and crisscrossed so much that to keep up with each other is near impossible. Amidst trying to “find ourselves” throughout our high school experience, it is not difficult to lose each other along the way. There are always a few though, no matter what kind of funky turn we take, that are always by my side.
High school is a defining time where hobbies, goals and friends seem to always be changing. The only thing that seems to have been consistent over the last few years is our inconsistency. As the day I have been waiting for draws nearer, it is hard not to take a look backward and wish that I could have done things differently or made different choices. It is all a part of the grand adventure though, isn’t it? Through the laughter and tears of the journey of coming of age, we change. We try new things, we meet new people and we learn a little bit about ourselves along the way.
It is at this time, the end of our high school days, that we can look back at the people and experiences that got us to where we are today and see it from a whole new perspective. I wonder if the unpleasant early mornings, the dreaded first periods, and the dragged out assemblies that never seemed to have a purpose worthy of our attention, will suddenly make sense as we cross the well decorated stages and make our way towards the only thing that has kept us going- receiving our diplomas.
I can not help but to be optimistic as I get closer to graduating. It is the end of a way of life that I have become comfortable with and have finally come to appreciate. While I am desperately wishing for just a little bit more time, to be able to go back and do things differently, I am also keeping my gaze forward trying to catch a glimpse of what lies ahead. A door may be closing in my life, but I know that with the final click of that shutting door, another one will be opening in front of me.
For graduates, this is a time of letting go, but not a time for forgetting. The memories that we have made together over the past years will stick with us for many more years to come.
My only wish for the other graduates of 2007, for my friends, is this; do not take these next couple of months for granted or just let the days pass by meaningless as you wait for the day when it will all be over.
Make new memories, get to know people that you haven’t ever spoken to before. At the same time don’t forget to look forward, graduation is only the beginning.
This column is the opinion of Whitney Brown, a senior at Kenai Central High School and a jump start student at Kenai Peninsula College.
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