The End of An Era & Stress

Today is Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 and in one month and five days I’ll be graduating high school. I remember back in first grade complaining to my Dad about how long the school years seemed to be. I would just wish they would go faster. My Dad isn’t really a man of many words, but the thing he said to me that day has stuck with me roughly 11-12 years later. “John,” he said, “the years only go by faster and faster. Before you realize it you’ll be my age and wondering where the time has gone.” Being the stubborn kid that I was, I absolutely refused to believe what he was saying. Only within the past few years have I begun to realize that he was entirely right. Oh dear.

September 2014

Ah September something-2014, the first day of high school. I was 14 at the time, rushing up the hill to catch my 6:30 AM bus in the morning. I was totally distraught because I had greatly underestimated the sheer amount of time it takes me to get ready in the morning. I wrapped my breakfast in foil, slapped it into a paper bag, and set off onto what was a really exhausting day.

I came home and didn’t say much when my Mom asked me how my day was, other than I think I grunted something about it being “good” and immediately I went to the nearest couch and took a two hour nap. I think I had slept more that first night than I slept at any previous night during that summer. This was back when I could stay up for hours doing God knows what. Now, if I don’t get at least seven hours of sleep I struggle to function (take me back!).

Back to the Future (or I guess the present?)

I didn’t really intend on this post being about high school memories, so I’ve decided to head back into the present. I’m currently typing this in my health class waiting for the bell to ring, so I can head off to my last week of track practice. After that, I’ve got an essay I have to write for my English class, some practice free response questions for my macroeconomics class, and a bunch of problems to do for my calculus and computer science classes. Fun. I really wish this was all kinda spread out more, but unfortunately that never seems to be the case throughout my high school experience. You have periods where you don’t really have a lot going on and then suddenly, and then all at once, you have 52 projects, tests, quizzes, etc. due across all my classes. Not fun. I’m definitely looking forward to not having classes everyday in college. In fact, the entire thing that sparked this post was all the work I have to do in the next few weeks.

Isn’t the glass also half full?

Well, yeah, there’s definitely a lot that I’m going to miss. I’ve met so many incredible people, both students & teachers, who are going to do such amazing things. I’m going to miss them all dearly and I hope I can keep in touch with some. I genuinely enjoyed a lot of the lunch room discussions, jokes, group conversations, and experiences we all shared together. I’m going to miss living with my family, although I am looking forward to being on my own.

I’ve become content with the idea that this is all part of a natural cycle. I had a really good high school experience, and as much as I’m simultaneously ready and unprepared for it to end, it needs to end so that I can begin with the next part of my life, these amazing people I’m leaving can begin theirs, and a whole new group of freshmen can start theirs.

One piece of advice for any future high school freshmen reading this

During some of the once-in-a-lifetime moments, or even some of the casual ones, put your phone away. It’s tempting to have pictures and Snapchats, and honestly I wish I had some more lying around, but I found that I was too tightly attached to it. I sometimes had great times pass me by because I was so focused on everything but that occasion. Interestingly, during my Junior prom, I accidentally left my phone in my Grandpa’s car that I drove. Now, it was only a short walk away towards the back of the parking lot, but my school had a strict policy saying nobody was allowed out until the dance was over. This turned out to be a great thing, because I was fully in the moment and had a great time. Ever since then, I’ve “accidentally” locked my phone in the car for a few dances and other events, and I’ve found similar results. Food for thought.

Posted on 5/1/2018