From a Recent High School Graduate

June 9, 2008
This week, I had a flashback. I went twelve years back in time, to May of 1996; more specifically, the culmination of my kindergarten year.

It was the same time for my sister’s graduation. I knew that while under slightly different circumstances, we were both graduating, and that it was pretty much the same thing because we both were wearing caps. However, mine was superior in that it was made of cardboard and had a blue dolphin on top. Also, I didn’t have to wear a long green gown. I got to graduate in pretty much whatever I wanted to. I figured I was the luckier of the both of us.

I also figured that one day…a kajillion years from that point in time, I’d be going through the same thing she was going through. One day, I would graduate from high school.

That moment came and went. I graduated from High School on Saturday, June 7, 2008. It was surreal, as if I was watching my double walk across the stage instead of actually doing it myself. Fortunately, I found that I wasn’t alone in feeling like this at all; I told my two best friends how I felt and they agreed, it was surreal.

The actual event of graduation is not what’s important to the former high school student. It’s the symbolism and implication of what walking across the stage that matters. Graduation is seen as a time of closing a door on one part of your life and opening another. That may be true, but that does not mean that the door you close will be opaque. At the moment, it’s definitely transparent.

With high school done and college as the next venture for my life, I’ll still be able to look through that door. I can never reenter it again, but I can look at the past with fondness, admiration, hatred, regret, and an overall nostalgia for my time spent as a Harker Heights Knight. As my life goes on, and other events take precedent over this graduation, the door may grow more translucent. Details may get smudged, but the emotions will remain the same.

My logic throughout high school was that one day it would all end, and that there would be bigger and better and events to get excited or worked up about. But what I didn’t realize a few years back, a few months back even, is that the little nuances of high school prepare you for the bigger, better things in life. Appreciating and making the best of your life in high school can only train you to do the same as you grow up and get a job, get married, have a family, and any other important event that can happen in your life.

With that realization, I have some regret for not taking full advantage of everything high school had to offer in the way of events and meeting people. But it’s okay, that is what life is about; taking your mistakes and learning from them, and not dwelling on your “should-haves” or “could-haves”. Being young isn’t about that at all, it’s about challenging yourself to become the best person you can be.

I hope my fellow graduates have realized and will remember that. With that hope, I extend a personal “congratulations” to the Class of 2008. We’ve swung our tassels, and life isn’t waiting. Life is here.

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