First of all, I’d like to thank you. Thank you for reminding me exactly why I decided to graduate early in the first place. Thank you for showing me that I am in fact a bigger and better person. Because even though you feel the need to push me around and shoot me down with your icy glares, I have stood strong. I have fought tooth and nail to be amongst a class that refuses to accept me as a student or even treat me as a person. But, you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because slowly but surely I am going to prove to each and every one of you that I am a senior. I am. graduating with you. ANd there is nothing you can do to stop me.
I would also like to make it known that graduating a full year ahead of my grade does not make me fake,, arrogant, or even a b****. Stepping up and getting ahead makes me intelligent, ambitious, and most of all gets me away from all of YOU. You shouldn’t feel the need to ‘put me in my place’ because I already know it. And guess what, it's not here. It is not in these cold, hellish halls. It is not with you, my so called “class”. It is not even on that stage, accepting my diploma with the rest of you. My place is nowhere near here. My place is somewhere far out of the reach of petty voices like your own. Voices who whisper behind my back, or attempt to confront me in the hallways. My place is above you all, because while you may be hung up on status and high school stepping stones, I have moved far beyond that.
You try to force the title “graduating Junior” on me as if it were some Scarlet letter am forced to wear for my sins. But is a senior who has been held back called out as a “graduating late senior” when they walk into events? If I had skipped the third grade instead of the 11th, would you still tell me I didn’t belong in your class picture? Simply because I hadn’t been with your grade “the whole time”?
I will never understand why you spend so much of your senior year attempting to make mine miserable. Nor do I wish to, because you see, the more time you spend attempting to tear me down is simply more time I have to remind myself why it is that you are so upset by this. Could it be that you are threatened? Maybe a little afraid of this “graduating Junior” swooping in and taking all the glory. You try to tell me that I have not earned the title “senior”. But have I not taken all the same classes as you? Have we not earned these credits? If anything, don’t I deserve it a little more than yourselves? You who have slacked off and allowed ‘senioritis’ to kick in the moment you walked through those doors your first day as freshman? Have I not worked hard enough to get here? Perhaps you would like to walk a day in my shoes. I would like to see you fill all 8 periods of your day with AP classes, to have your family and friends tell you how proud of you they are, to have teachers comment on such a hard worker you are. But then turn around to enter those horrible hallways only to feel one thing. Absolute fear. Nothing else, only the terror of entering a hallway full of YOU. What will it be today? A whisper that is loud enough for the entire hallway to hear? Or perhaps a trip by someone's leg, sending my books and papers flying down with no one to help pick them up. Or maybe someone will be really brave today. Maybe they’ll confront me about “the audacity I must have to invade their grade like this.”
Well, whatever it us, bring it on Class of 2017. Because I’m waiting and I’m ready. It doesn’t matter what you do to me now, I’m 16, I’ll get over it. But when you look back on your precious senior year, what will you remember? Because I promise you it won’t be homecoming or a party. You’ll look back at how hard you tried to ruin this year for me, and all you’ll see is how I walked across that stage just like the rest of you.
The GRADUATING junior