Thursday, May 5, 2011

School: Sad, Scared, and Excited

I am almost done with high school. My classes ended last friday, and my exams are slowly being ticked off. Graduation is no longer a mythical, unattainable goal, but a real, soon-to-be-realized achievement. A large part of me is super excited. I keep researching my university, finding new things to be excited about. Big things, like classes or dorms, or small things like clubs or volunteer opportunities. I love it all. That part of me is excited and impatient, 100% eager, ready to move onward and upward. 

Another part of me is not so excited. Another part of me is scared. And yet another part of me is sad. My high school years have been hard. But, along the way, I've participated in some pretty cool things and met some pretty cool people. I'm sad to say goodbye to them all. I always knew I was going to miss them, but that became so much more obvious tonight, when I went to my middle school reunion. 

Only one person from my high school went to my middle school; I hadn't seen most of the other people since graduation. I went to a really tiny school--there were only 30ish kids in my class/grade. Yet, there were still people I didn't recognize or remember. I remembered my best friends, but other people, people I spent hours and hours with, did countless projects with, spent millions of classes talking to, had been completely erased from my memory. I vaguely remembered most, but they were unrecognizable, so tall and adult-like. I had a lot of those grade 12 conversations--how do you like your school? Where are you going next year? What are you majoring in? But, with the exception of one or two people, it rarely went deeper than that. These people who had shaped my life everyday for two years were distant memories, strangers. The guy I liked so much barely seemed to remember me. One of best friends barely talked to me. 

It made me scared to think of my high school reunion. Now, my class is smaller--under 20 people. And we've known each other for double the time. But still, I imagine that there will be people I will forget, or least, people I won't be able to talk to. These people I have laughed with, ate lunch with, talked to for so long, will be gone, replaced by different, strange people I don't know. It's sad. My dearest friends now are destined to become dear memories. And as much as I've hated certain parts of high school, and as much as I've resented these friends at times, I'm still going to miss them. 

You go through high school, one day after another, caught up in the demands of classes, the drama of life. You get completely sucked into it. It was so weird when I left my last class last week. As I went to my usual places--the library, my locker--I walked a little bit slower. I had run up and down these halls during drama productions, getting costumes ready. I had talked with friends between classes, waited to ask teachers questions. I had loitered these halls when I couldn't find anyone to eat lunch with. They had always been the background, a blur in my memories of life. Now, I was walking them for a final time. I still have to go back for exams and prom and graduation and whatever else, but I won't be caught up in the day to day flurry that is high school. I was quite sad. 

I wonder how I'll feel in five or ten years, when I return for my reunion. 

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