The Rush (My Last Night as a High Schooler)

“Our lives are made in these small hours

These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate

Time falls away, but these small hours,

These small hours…still remain”

–  Rob Thomas, “Little Wonders”

 

In May of my Freshman year, my History teacher told me something I remember almost word for word: “Guys, today is the last day of classes for the Seniors. You’re going to see a lot of them walking through the hall just looking around, or else staring at the floor. It’s a huge thing to take in, leaving high school after four years. Either you look around to remember everything or you try not to.”

I didn’t give it much thought; why should I? I still had three years left there. Except now, I don’t. I have hours. And even though that day in History class feels like yesterday, it wasn’t yesterday. It was three years ago.

What am I supposed to say here? I’ve been writing articles since the start of 11th grade, but I can remember exactly what it was like sitting in this same spot at this same desk, typing an article of my thoughts in some attempt to immortalize the moment. Will today feel like ‘just yesterday’ when I’m a sophomore in college? God, I hope not.

The biggest thing here is that this doesn’t feel like the end at all. I want so, so badly to make my brain and heart understand that tomorrow is the last time I’ll ever see some of the underclassmen at my school, the last time I’ll get the chance to talk to teachers before they forget me. Starting Wednesday, Seniors won’t be allowed back in the building. When is the next time I’ll walk through the hallways? What will it feel like?

I’m sorry if around half of this post is just questions or ramblings, but it’s because I’m scared. Not of tomorrow; if anything, I’m excited for tomorrow. And for the class picnic, and for Graduation, and for trips with friends and parties.

I’m scared of all that to be over.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for college. But high school is the kind of thing that smothers you—in both good and bad ways—taking up every ounce of your life. The hallways become a part of you, the layout of everything is drilled into your brain, and while you hate all of it at first, you gradually accept it. I’ve got that covered. It’s the next part that I don’t want to do:

Let go.

I don’t feel ready to leave. I know I am ready, it just doesn’t feel like it. I think that’s how it is with most things: you get ready to leave something behind. When you finally have to, you say, “I just want a little more time,” even though you know you’re ready. Then you look back a couple years later and realize that even if you had a little more time, you would still say the same thing. So I guess it all works out no matter what.

Okay, I’m rambling again. Reel it in.

I guess I should try to summarize this year of high school, if that’s even possible. The problem is that it was cookie-cutter perfect for me: I started with amazing friends, one best friend I had a crush on, a book that was going nowhere, plans for a blog, and hope for a great year. Now I’m ending with even closer ties to my friends, my crush who is now my perfect girlfriend, a mildly successful blog; and a book that I believe deep down is ready to be published, thanks to the help of a stranger who became my friend and a friend who became my best friend. What did I do to deserve such a perfect life, seriously?

Tonight I repeated my end-of-year traditions. I watched the Legend of the Seeker Season One finale, and believe it or not, that was when I started to cry a little. Not because of anything that has to do with high school. Rather, because I blinked and saw tiny fourteen year old me sitting on the couch, watching this episode the night before his first day of high school. He was scared, and had no clue in the world what it was going to be like. Or what people he would meet. Or how they would change his life. But most of all, he couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to look back at high school when it’s all finished.

Okay, hang on.

It’s amazing how much time I spent wanting to get out of high school, only to realize how scary it really is to leave. Of course I’ll visit, but teachers will move on. People will move on. When I walk through the halls from here on out, it’ll be “just like I did” rather than “just like I do.”

So I guess when I walk through them tomorrow, I’ll be one of the people my teacher mentioned who tries to look around. I don’t know how hard the goodbyes will be. They’re not so much to the people (who I’ll still see these next few weeks) as it will be to the classrooms, and teachers, and everyone. And to little things like opening lockers, getting hall passes or writing blog posts at the end of every year.

Okay. I have to start saying goodbye now. Starting with this tradition. After this, no more writing posts at the end of a high school grade. This is the first thing I’ll let go of.

Okay then. Goodbye.

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2 thoughts on “The Rush (My Last Night as a High Schooler)

  1. L. Marie says:

    I’m just catching up on my blog reading. You summarized that beautifully. I don’t think it will sink in really until you begin the next stage of your life and have the time to ponder what it all means. But here’s to the next phase of your life. Congratulations!!!!!

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