Senior Goodbye: Remember the moments

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“And yes, I know high school is hard. But, it is what you make it. Because despite the days where I hated high school, it brought me real friendships, amazing opportunities, and taught me more about myself than I would’ve ever thought possible.”

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone entering high school this is what it would be: “Live your life as if everyday was your last.”

Well, more like “Live your life as if everyday was your last day of high school.”

I know, I know- it’s cliche. 

And you’ve probably heard it a thousand times. 

But it’s true. And it perfectly encompasses everything I’ve learned and want people to know about my experiences these past four years within the walls of Lovejoy High School. 

My senior year got cut three months short, and I MAY still be a little bit bitter about it. However, the experience has shaped my approach to high school- life in general- immensely. Your time in high school, time with friends, time in life, is never guaranteed. I guess I kind of learned that one the hard way.

So please, enjoy it.

I had NO idea that when I walked out of school on Friday, March 6 that I would possibly never go back. I think back to that day often, but I can’t even really remember it, and I wish that I could. But how many times in our life have we experienced something similar to that feeling? Wishing to go back to a day or a moment in time- just to fully appreciate it or to experience it once more.

That’s kind of like high school.

I look back at some of my experiences and wish I would’ve taken my own advice. Bad test grades, stressful college applications, ACT scores, popularity, other peoples’ opinions of you- those things simply won’t matter years, or even days, after you’ve graduated. What you will remember, however, is the friends that came and never left, the teachers that taught you more about life than algebra or chemistry, and the experiences that shaped your perspective of the world.

And yes, I know high school is hard. But, it is what you make it. Because despite the days where I hated high school, it brought me real friendships, amazing opportunities, and taught me more about myself than I would’ve ever thought possible.

I will give myself some credit in that I took advantage of everything, and I mean almost EVERYTHING, high school had to offer. I tried out for Student Council as a freaked-out freshman and, to my own surprise, got in. I wrote for and helped manage the school newspaper- something I had always wanted to try. I ran for Senior Class Vice President and won- something I had always dreamed of doing. I ran for Student Council President and lost (you can’t win them all though, am I right?) I took three years of French, despite having no clue what I was doing most of the time. I invested 20+ hours a week into dance outside of school even though it took up a lot of my time and energy. I talked to people I never thought I’d be friends with, and now I look at them as some of my closest friends. 

I may have done too much, taken on too many things, or I may have done just enough. The point is, I don’t have many regrets leaving high school, because I did practically everything I wanted to do.

There’s also a lot of things in high school I chose not to do. I’m grateful for that. I had standards and morals that I just wasn’t willing to compromise, and it taught me to make my own decisions and be my own person. I learned to choose friends that supported me and loved me, even if we followed different paths.

One of the best quotes I found during high school written by Cesare Pavese states: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

So yes, live your life for these next four years as if everyday was your last day of high school. Don’t sweat the small things too much. Because at the end of the day, I don’t really remember chemistry or the PSAT or all the times I cried over a test. 

I remember walking across the football field with my dad for homecoming court, watching my friends and family in the bleachers. I remember screaming song lyrics at the top of my lungs out the car window at midnight with my favorite people. I remember my family hugging me as I opened my dream college acceptance letter. I remember the laughs- the kind of laughs that are silent because the jokes were just THAT funny- and there were many. I remember cheering for our football team when we weren’t even close to winning the game. I remember the times I felt like I belonged somewhere, and I knew where I was going.

And I’m so grateful that those are the moments I’ll remember about high school.