I didn’t think leaving would be this hard.
I spent so long looking forward to finally graduating and starting the next chapter of my life, I never considered that when the time came, I wouldn’t be ready to leave.
I’ll miss so much: the taco shops so conveniently placed on the way to school, the glowing pride at M Night after learning all my stressed out nights spent hovered over my homework paid off. Even the moments I hated in the moment: the nights spent stressing over Quest when I only had one more attempt left, taking 8 AP Exams one year because some magnificent, wonderful English teacher convinced me I could, the terrible, awful, 12 page long semester exam reviews, having to be at school at 6AM for soccer practice the year I convinced myself I was super athletic and even the congestion between the B and C hallway between every passing period.
There’s too much to say goodbye to, and even worse, there are too many to say goodbye to.
I mean, how was I supposed to know underclassmen could be so funny? No one told me the people I met solely based off the fact that we were in the same class would turn out to be the best friends I ever had. No one handed me a manual that warned me, “Hey! You think everything is bad now, but in your final two weeks you’ll realize you don’t get to see your favorite people 5 days a week anymore and a terrible sinking feeling will overwhelm you until you walk the stage! There’s a very real chance that as soon as you leave Freeman Coliseum, you won’t see 90% of the 600 kids you spent the last four years! You’re going to be torn about wanting to leave and wanting to grab everyone by the shoulders to let them know how much they mean to you! You’re going to leave incredible teachers that re-inspired your quest for knowledge outside of the classroom! And you’re not going to realize it until it’s over!”
And that stinks.
Despite all this, there is one thing I’ll miss more than anything, and that’s newspaper. I spent half of my high school year hovered over a glowing Mac computer, editing stories, shooting photos, interviewing students, learning Photoshop and InDesign, and most recently, working on the dang print edition of Brahma Tales. I mean, I loved newspaper. I loved all of it: the deadlines, ILPC camp this summer at UT, the Boston NHSJC Convention with the amazing yearbook editors, meeting new people, even desperately explaining that I wasn’t part of yearbook, just newspaper, and no, I didn’t need anyone to pose with all their friends so it would go in the yearbook. Plus, my amazing, tiny, dedicated staff that, outside of 8th period when I had to be stern and lead them, were some of my very best friends. Gunnie, my do-it-all editor, Dukes, my second in command, Ashley, Sierra, and Steph, my three Muskateers, Mari the artist, Quinn the chef, Frank the forever freshman, Jacey the country girl, Kayla, Megan, and Avery my little do it alls, Flick the most awkward, Ileesa the quietest, Gabby the funniest and David, who always did a movie review. I’m going to miss journalism so much when I graduate, and none of it really feels real.
I want to leave my staff and my readers with one piece of advice before I walk away and say goodbye to this place forever: make the most of the time you have.
Spend your free time away from your phone and with your friends, don’t blow off studying because the honor ropes and the scholarships are so so worth staying up late, and be grateful for the people that surround you. You might not miss it now, but the moment before you graduate, you’ll realize how much everything meant and how you wish you could have done more, so make the goal to have no regrets.