The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Senior Goodbye: Independence Day

Courtesy of Sarah Hibberd
“I’m allowing the blissful ignorance of a high school senior to take me over, absorbing every last drop of laughter that’s left in the chapter of life I’ve grown so fond of.”

If you’ve read all the senior goodbye stories that have come before this one, there’s one paradox you may have noticed: nearly every writer admits just how difficult it is to begin their final column. 

One of the greatest joys of The Red Ledger has been the opportunity to interview members of the community. Each time I do, I listen as the story unravels. When I sit down to type, the story simply writes itself. The combination of passion for writing and admiration for those I write about makes the stories about our district so easy to tell. 

For some reason, the most difficult story I’ve ever had to write is my own. 

During the day, I have found it impossible to acknowledge that graduation is in nearly a week. Despite packing as much fun with friends as possible during the final hours, it hardly crosses my mind that the end is very much in sight. Possibly because I’m all too consumed with heated card games, but likely because I’m allowing the blissful ignorance of a high school senior to take me over, absorbing every last drop of laughter that’s left in the chapter of life I’ve grown so fond of. To put it simply, I’m comfortable. Life is predictable, and fun, and I’m happy; every day is beautiful. More than anything, I feel so much love for the people that surround me each and every day, especially the ones that have stuck with me throughout the years. 

Like every other senior, I put this column off until the night before its publication. It’s when I finally wind down and it’s close to midnight that I’m left alone with my thoughts and I begin to comprehend what goodbye will mean on May 27. By that time, I’m too tired to type, and my heart is heavy.

Here I am 9 hours before my deadline scrambling for words and phrases to convey how grateful I am to this district for all the growth and happiness it’s given me. Lovejoy has prepared me enough academically, but there are a few lessons I’ve learned beyond the textbook that are worth sharing. 

If the people at Lovejoy have taught me one thing, it’s that the best friendships will come without struggle. I’m proud to describe myself as independent, but I often blamed it for my difficulty forming relationships with others. This side of me has made me feel lonely, difficult, dislikeable, and even unworthy. After finding the right people, I realized that feeling was the product of the atmosphere I was in, not a fault in my character. It’s a blessing to develop friendships that bring out the best in you, fill you with energy and love for yourself, and make your cheeks so sore you can hardly manage another smile. 

There are a few teachers that have changed the way I view learning, relationships, and change, and that deserve a thank you at the very least. To Mrs. Adler, who showed me that with dedication, I have the power to make an impact. To Mr. Eairheart, who taught me mistakes are necessary for growth, and to “be proud of my wrong answers.” To Mrs. Barnett, who illustrated that enthusiasm makes all the difference when it comes to success and happiness. These three outstanding educators fostered environments that allowed me to grow free of judgment, and full of fun. Finally, an honorable mention to former Principal Chris Mayfield whose kind words put me at ease with my uncertain future, assuring me that “sometimes the things we think are the end of the world turn out to be the greatest blessings.”

High school is the best time to step out of your comfort zone. Whether you start with one toe in the water or go full send, you must start. In my sophomore year, I received an email stating I was accepted onto the staff of The Red Ledger. Fast forward a year, and I’ve accepted responsibility for the newspaper and its entirety as Editor-In-Chief. Since then, I have found much joy in gifting coverage and getting to know my community better, all while enjoying the love and laughter that comes with being a part of the TRL family (not to mention all the UIL medals.) I’m beyond excited to begin a new chapter with opportunities such as this one, but my heart is aching at the thought of leaving Lovejoy and all the people I hold close to me behind. 

For me, graduation marks Independence Day. A time of joy and celebration, but also of bittersweet goodbyes. We’re expected to itch for freedom and a fresh start in a new town, yet we feel compelled to say goodbye to the last 18 years of our lives. If there’s one thing I know, there are some memories, and feelings, that are just too golden to fade away, and some I will certainly get a chance to relive. 

Above all else, I’ve learned not to hold out on living. Not to avoid heartbreak. Not out of fear of failure. Not because you’re waiting for the right moment. Not because you hate goodbyes. The only way to take sorrow out of goodbyes is to take love out of life. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let that happen. 

To everyone who’s made me smile, thank you. FNR.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Hibberd
Sarah Hibberd, Editor-In-Chief
All good things must come to an end, but what about great things? Although she’s approaching the end of her high school career, senior Sarah Hibberd is confident her TRL adventures will last a lifetime. With one year left to make her mark, Sarah returns as an over-optimistic Editor-In-Chief eager to maintain The Red Ledger's multi-award-winning legacy. When out of the newsroom, you may find her in scrubs working towards her pharmacy technician certification, stressing over the application process or gushing over her haircare regimen. Sarah is a proud member of HOSA, the Helping Hands Club, and the National Honor Society. As a victim of the baby fever phenomenon and an aspiring healthcare professional, Sarah will stop at nothing to work with tiny humans in the NICU; she believes in speaking for those who can't speak for themselves. She loves Novo Amor music, smelling candles, making lists and laughing with family. Though fiercely independent, Sarah dreads the thought of leaving home, driving her to make this year one for the books.

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