By the time you read this, I will be literally two months away from the end of my classes. I will be two and a half months away from my graduation. By the time you read this, I will be an emotional wreck. Unlike some, especially in this particular medium, I've had a fantastic time in high school - I can honestly say I LOVE high school. Not the work, or the teachers, but the people-the people and the things we did together. That's what you hate to leave behind.
All of this is really new to me, honestly - I've never been an overly emotional person. But, as I near the end to a significantly important portion of my life, I've become nostalgic and a little sad. It's an interesting experience heading towards the end of high school. You have some people who are, for lack of a better word, ecstatic to be leaving. These people have various reasons: they weren't understood in high school, they hated the work, they want their freedom, they hate the people, etc. As much as I respect these people's opinions, in my mind, I will never understand it. (Don't hate me for that, I can understand if you were persecuted against, but I didn't have that experience - so I'll never see high school as anything but positive.) Then, you have the people who don't really care - most of them go by these reasons: eh, one school to another, who cares?, Yeah, it sucks, but who wants to change now?, Where am I gonna go anyway?. These are really the people I feel the most sorry for - they just don't get anything, really. Then you have the ones who just don't want to leave: I love high school!, I can't change now!, I'm used to this!, I'll miss everyone, always!, yada yada yada. I don't really agree with these people either...solely because their motivation is not wanting to move on, to go forward. How can you live like that? But they're all right, for the most part: A part of me wants to get out of high school so badly, I'd do just about anything to go. A part of me doesn't really care, I mean, what's the difference anyway? I don't know what I'm going to do with myself, I don't have enough confidence to believe I'll ever get anywhere, yada yada yada... Then there's the part of me that refuses to go: that desperately wants to hang onto everybody and everything.
You know what gets real interesting? The dynamic of relationships in your senior year. In the past seven months (I'm writing this mid-March), I've become friends with those I thought I hated. I've discovered some people who used to know everything there was to know about me didn't deserve that privilege. I've learned that sometimes people drift apart, but you NEVER EVER stop loving someone, not if you ever really truly loved them. People fight for your time in your senior year. Old friends that feel they need more time with you, new friends who want to get to know you better, and everyone in between. Even those not particularly emotional people start to talk about old times you had together. Everyone comes together, everyone forgets, remembers, and somehow manages to make it through. That's probably my favorite part of all of this: the way I know we will all make it through. And we will.
If you read my article with an regularity ( which I'd like to pretend you do, but if you don't, check out the February issue) you'll remember I love to talk about my friends. I'll let you in on a little secret. We've all changed - changed a lot in our time. And I don't necessarily know if I will always be friends with all of them, no matter how much I wish I knew I would be. I hope that I'm wrong that things could go wrong, we could lose touch, or fight, or something else... but I'm not a big optimist. I consider myself a realist, and I think that it's realistic I will lose some people along the way. And the thought, well, the thought upsets me in a way only others who have gone through the experience will understand. But that doesn't mean I'll ever stop loving my friends-every last friend I've made will have a special spot in my heart. I also don't think I'll ever be able to remember everyone's name, or all the private jokes, but God will my heart ache too. God, will I desperately want to remember every bit of these four years and smile, and know how much its influenced me, what I've become, how they helped to create me.
So if you've already graduated and you're reading this, perhaps you know what I mean, and know even better what will happen to me in the future, as I'm just guessing here. If you're on the verge with me, then you know exactly what I mean. And if you're still awhile off, then just always remember that this will be you someday. But just because you're leaving doesn't mean a part of you isn't staying-a part of you always will.
Best of luck and all my love to all,
PS-Write me, firstname.lastname@example.org, I like it.