Deeper Than The Words This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I can't think of any harder word than good-bye. I have grown up saying this word to people as we go, knowing we will come back. It flows out of our mouths every day. Seeming so meaningless and small, the word I never really thought about can be painful to have to say. From saying good-bye to friends who are going to college to saying good-bye to those we leave behind when we leave for college, this word holds meaning to a thousand thoughts unspoken.

"You are growing up. You are going off to college," people tell me constantly. As I grow up, so does everyone around me - and that is what is truly the hardest to deal with. From the book bag and the towels I received, everything is based upon my going to college.

"Just think, a few more months and you will be out on your own," my mom's not-so-comforting words tear at my heart. She can say this calmly because she has let my two older brothers go. I have said good-bye to them, and now look at our relationship. Ever since we said good-bye, it hasn't been the same. This isn't just about my leaving; it is about leaving everyone else behind. It is about having already left some of my friends due to changing paths. Some are going to college, some are getting married, and some are moving away and may never return. It is about knowing I may never see many of these people I grew up with.

With each passing day, we come closer to saying good-bye. This good-bye isn't like the one said at the end of a long day at school or before Christmas vacation. This good-bye is said knowing that this may be the last time we see each other.

As we look toward our future and turn from our comforting past, we see the separateness of the real world. As each looks in a different direction, we look away from each other. High school is a comfortable, controlled environment. Yes, high school has stress, but it is a soft, fuzzy blanket compared to the real world after graduation with bills, a mad boss, and rent past due. No, the real world will not be all bad, but we will no longer have someone there watching over us.

It is exciting to plan our future, but we will soon be saying good-bye. Good-byes like these come only a few times, but they always hurt. No matter how short and simple it sounds, the meaning will be there for the rest of each life. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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