As My Senior Year in High School Comes to an End…
Reflections on Graduation by Ashley Houts
Well, this is it. The so far “best years of my life” are drawing to an end, and I’m looking forward to beginning a new chapter in my life. Soon I will have to say goodbye to all of the familiar faces and places that I’ve known for the past 17 years, and then look forward to what new adventures are in store for me. This isn’t a movie or a dream where the students are throwing their caps in the air at graduation; it’s reality with a bittersweet conclusion.
The past four years of high school have been anything but boring; it has been lots of fun! From meeting my honey, to going to the first home football game each season, high school dances, pep rallies and spirit days; The list goes on: we’ve painted our stomachs at games, cheered ‘til we were hoarse, and had our 2012 beach days over the summer before our senior year – I have so many wonderful memories to keep close to my heart.
I wake up every weekday to the loud ringing of my alarm clock, get ready in the exact same order that I have all year and then head off to school. My schedule, friends and routine are for the most part, just that, routine. I’m now realizing that in just two short months my life will be pretty much unrecognizable. I’ll be in a different town, living on my own and making new friends and a new life for myself. Lucky for me, the emotional part of this transition hasn’t crossed my mind too much yet.
Prom, probably the most anticipated event of our senior year, is something almost every guy and girl at my school looks forward to. Asking someone or being asked has become somewhat of a production these days. There are guys with flowers and balloons, boys popping out of boxes, huge signs, even lockers filled with tennis balls – all with the hope of finding the perfect prom date, whoever that special person might be. My date, my sweetheart, serenaded me on stage in front of the whole school with a special song – I will never forget that moment! Then there’s finding that perfect dress, tuxedos, limousines, and candlelit dinners to make the one-night fairytale just perfect. I can hardly wait!
Just like many other seniors, I’m ready to move away and try new things. This place is all I’ve known my whole life and change is sounding pretty good right about now. I have done really well in school, and now I’ve learned that the sometimes missed sleepovers and good times traded for homework paid off. Fortunately, I got into every college I applied to. Waiting for those acceptance letters can be so nerve-racking, but opening those envelopes with slow apprehension has been one of my favorite experiences this year. Until you can run through your house screaming with a huge smile stamped on your face, the knot in your stomach can be almost unbearable. My friends are experiencing the same thing as me. We are all really excited, but what we don’t talk about is how we won’t just be able to jump in the backseat and ride along with our “besties” to our next destination. No longer will we get to sit by our best friends in third period or even see them on a daily basis. I’m going to miss so many things, conversely it gives me butterflies to think about what lies ahead at college. All I can say about the leaving part is, “Thank goodness for Skype!”
For now, our job as soon-to-be graduates is to stay motivated to actually go to school (and I do go). It’s hard not to get ahead of ourselves and realize there is still work to be done. We are trying to cram everything with family and friends into the next couple of months enjoying every moment, quietly knowing that we’re gonna miss these days. Well, all of my ducks are in a row…my grades are good, I have finished all of the curriculum for high school, and I have registered for classes at the university for this fall. I did it, I am ready to graduate!
I look forward to graduation day where I get to stand proudly in front of my peers and be recognized for all of my accomplishments so far. Once we move our tassels from the right to the left and throw our caps in the air, we will take some of our first footsteps into adulthood. So, maybe “the best years of our lives” are over, but the first days of the rest of our lives are just beginning. Maybe the best is yet to come.