Graduation Day by Er L., Brockton, MA
Well, here I am. I don't really want to be here. I mean, I don't get the point, I sit here until they call my name, then I grab a piece of paper and that's it. Seems kind of like nothing after waiting 12 years. Y'know what I mean?
After all those years, all that hard work culminates in about five seconds. At least tonight there will be good parties. The last of the high school parties. Last time I'll see a lot of these people. Good. I hated most of them. I hated the whole school. Hated the teachers, hated the classes. Especially the math and science classes. I never did understand chemistry. Trigonometry was even worse. I wasted years learning stuff I'll never use. "You'll need it in college," the teachers said.
College. I haven't even thought of that. I'm going to spend all this money to learn more of the same stuff I hated in high school. I need to know what I'll do with my life. How am I supposed to decide that? I couldn't even decide whether or not to take cartooning or shop class. Maybe I should forget college and join the Army. Who knows when a war could break out? I'd probably end up the first guy killed.
When are they going to call my stupid name? I'm getting kind of nervous now. This whole graduation thing is like they're telling you, "You had fun, but now you're an adult." It's hard to believe that for all intents and purposes, I'm an adult. That's why I think I hate this ceremony so much. It's like I'm graduating from childhood.
But I'm not ready to be an adult. Too much responsibility. I'm happy just hanging around doing nothing, not working, just sitting home eating Twinkies and watching cartoons. But all good things must come to an end. You gonna call my name already? I'm starting to think too much. I mean graduating from childhood and that garbage. I'm graduating from high school, that's it. Still, I'm going to miss this part of my life. Then again this is all I've known. What? They called my name? Good, glad to be out of this place.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.