Some would call it the beginning of the end, others would say it was the end of the beginning. Either way, I'm graduating high school tonight and am honestly floored by the prospect of this particular event. Like so many other people in my life (mainly family members) I thought of graduation as being a day that was never going to come.
I look back on my years and marvel at how drastically different I was as a freshman; to put it bluntly, I was scared as hell coming into high school. There were a lot of painful memories that I was still trying to put behind me, but at the same time, I was still trying to hold onto those that'd I been close with in middle school. I remember how insecure and dramatic I was, both as a freshman, sophomore, and even a junior. I didn't really allow myself to be my own person, because I was so swept up in what people thought of me.
It's obvious that everyone changes in between being a freshman and a senior; your looks change, you make and lose friends, and you learn from both good and bad experiences. But from a personal standpoint, I feel like I have truly grown up. And I believe the key thing with that was just letting go: Meaning, I was no longer going to worry about what was going to happen tomorrow or in the future. Instead of fretting over what people thought of me, I was going to keep in mind that those that matter aren't going to care if I make mistakes at times or look like a total dork at times, because that's a part of who I am. I wasn't going to become fixated on a guy, but rather take it for what it is and just let things happen as they're meant to.
This year in particular has really changed me; I've learned the value of hard work, and that NOTHING ever gets handed to you for free (if anyone has that kind of mindset, they're in for a rude awakening). If you really want to go to college, (along with a lot of other things in life) you have to work for it. Some things you have to let happen on their own, but others you have to get off your ass and go get them yourself.
There are certain friendships that aren't meant to last forever; people change, and for whatever reason, sometimes they stop caring altogether. When that happens, you have to learn to let them go. It's a very painful aspect, one that I had to learn repeatedly. But just because you might lose someone, doesn't mean there isn't room for new people in the future. When it all comes down to it, change is inevitable.
I may not have had the classic, perhaps almost cliche high school experiences that many people want. But when I think about it, I probably experienced more then most people have the opportunity to do in their lifetime.
I wouldn't look at high school as the "glory days" so to speak. In reality, one should make the most of every stage in their lives, regardless if they're fourteen or forty. And now that I think about it, I wouldn't want to have everything right here and right now, as some put it. When joy is spread out, one is less likely to take it for granted.
So for now, I'm saying goodbye to high school, and HELLO to college!