Farewell, High School


Emma North

As college approaches it’s time for seniors to look back at the school that’s prepared them for these next four years.

The movies have it wrong. High school isn’t mean girls, mystery meat in the cafeteria, and the relentless attempt to fit in. High school is genuinely knowing yourself for the first time, late nights spent laughing so hard you can’t breathe, and a foundation for the next chapter of your life. It’s the beginning and the end all at once. As much as I’m exhilarated to go to college, my heart aches that these past four years are coming to a close. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily been a breeze, but it’s allowed me to grow in ways I never knew I could. Entering my freshman year, I was self-conscious about every single aspect of myself, having just come from the hardest year of my entire life during 8th grade. However, coming out on the other side now, I have more self-confidence than I’ve ever known.

This has come from the opportunity to experience things as an individual, to discover what it means to be me, and to truly grow at ease in such an immense space. I went from that girl whose hands shook while presenting to the girl who gets called out because she just can’t keep her mouth shut. I can make friends with just about anybody. That being said, I’ve had the ability to both gain and lose friendships while maintaining my own sense of self in the process. Those friendships, even those lost, have shaped who I am. I have the best friends I ever have, all so spectacular in their own ways. These are the people who’ve allowed me to make memories that will last life times. I’ve gone to more concerts over these past four years than the majority of people do in their whole lifetime. I’d say that’s something to be proud of. I’ve learned that I love the sound of the highway at night time and the look of a sunrise on Stone Mountain in the morning.

However, it’s not only fun and games, being as it is in fact school. Honestly, it’s tough. Over the past four years I’ve lost track of the amount of all-nighters I’ve pulled to finish homework, the early mornings I’ve dragged myself out of bed in order to get help, and the number of “please help me I’m so confused” texts I’ve both sent and received. Luckily, this hard work has taught me about what it means to be determined, what working hard really is. I’ve learned that I can’t always be the best in everything, but I can always try my best, and that usually works out pretty well in the end. I haven’t always had straight A’s, but I did manage to get into The University of Georgia. Again, I’d say that’s something to be proud of. Not to say senioritis isn’t real. Oh man, it hits hard and fast. Unfortunately, I still haven’t found a cure to that.   

If I could really take one thing away overall, it would be the awareness that everything will be okay. There are moments when you’re convinced that life itself is over; whether it’s a family issue, getting into a screaming match with your best friend, super speeding in a construction zone, a zit on the middle of your forehead, or something much more severe. We all have those few seconds where our issues seem to be the only reality, seem to define our whole existence. Good news. They don’t. We all make it out alive, we all put on our caps and gowns and pair our outstretched smiles with bright eyes as a diploma is bestowed upon us. For all of those hard moments, big or small, you’re sure to have a million and more wonderful ones. For every time I wanted to hit the wall, along came 5 other times I felt so blissful I could burst. High school comes and goes, and in the end, everything will be okay. If it isn’t, well, you’ve still got college to figure it out.