“You’re gonna miss this; you’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times, so take a good look around
You may not know it now…but you’re gonna miss this.”
– Trace Adkins, “You’re Gonna Miss This”
To start off, I’m sorry for not posting on Tuesday as promised. I held off for a few reasons.
One, I was pretty wiped out after my last day of high school ever. It was a draining day—academically and emotionally, in equal parts—and I didn’t have the energy to blog about it. And two, I realized I’ve never written an article after the last day of a grade, only before. I’m kind of a person of tradition.
That being said, my last day of high school was everything I expected it to be. In some classes, like Calc and Global, we just chatted about summer. In some like Psych and Biology we just watched movies. And in some like English and Foundations of Technology we actually did work, though I use the phrase “did work” loosely, considering none of us actually attempted the assignment. I personally just drew hand turkeys on my worksheet about communications technology.
The sadness hit a few times throughout the day. Once when my former Chemistry teacher, who inspired me to major in Chemistry in college, gave me a card she’d made and printed out herself. It told me to “stay smart and funny” and “don’t forget to mention your teacher in your acceptance speech for ‘greatest chemist ever’ award.”
Another time I was sad, believe it or not, was after Foundations of Tech was over. Yes, I hated that class, but I had two really great friends in it who helped me survive the year. Neither of them are Seniors, so after my last day in the building, I probably wouldn’t see them again.
The water works really hit, though, when I said goodbye at the end of the day to my favorite teacher of high school. She’d been my English teacher in 9th and 11th grade, but she’d helped me in countless ways for all four years. Like the time in tenth grade when she let my friends and I eat lunch in her room (for the year) because she’d heard us complaining about the noise in the cafeteria. Or the time she got me a new locker assignment because my old one was in a really inconvenient spot. Or the time she wrote my college recommendation letter and referenced specific essays I wrote years ago. Or the time she told jokes on the first day of Freshman year to relax us, or rapped for us on the last day of every school year, or single-handedly organized a class trip to New York.
I could go on.
I found my former teacher in the school library, already crying from saying goodbye to a few of us. The first thing I did was ask her something completely random.
“Will you sign my yearbook?”
Do amazing things and be the amazing person that you are. Follow your love of writing and embrace your talents. Lots of love and well wishes.
I was determined not to cry, so I started off in a steady voice, “Um, you know, on the first day of high school, I thought you might be the best teacher I’ve ever had. And now that it’s over…” That was when I lost it, and I was crying pretty hard as I said, “I just wanted to tell you I was right.”
The goodbye went on for a bit. When it was finally time to go, I hugged her. Right before we let go, she said quietly so only I could hear, “You’re going to do such amazing things.”
The rest of the day was kind of a blur. My friends and I drove to the local wharf for ice cream afterwards. Then I got home and tried to take in the fact that I was done with high school forever.
Yesterday was just an awards ceremony, then I got home and cleaned my whole room like I hadn’t done in years. Today: class picnic. It was great, and tons of fun, albeit a little cloudy. Tomorrow is Grad practice, with Graduation this coming Wednesday.
For now, though—as one of my friends pointed out—we’re in limbo. We aren’t Seniors anymore, but we aren’t graduates, either. We’re just teenagers. Really, really emotional-yet-crazy-excited teenagers.
For now, that’s enough.