High school: what a ride it has been. I’m sitting on my bed as I reminisce all the days that I spent at Kennedy. I look to my left, where I see dozens of photo strips and arts and craft things I hung up as a freshman. Above my headboard lies pictures of me and my friends in high school. And now, it is over.
Freshman and sophomore year were a lot to handle. Being young and growing up can be pretty brutal. I remember when everybody used to judge you for every single thing. I remember waking up early so that I could look cute for school, or even getting sweats that were cute so that even when I was “bumming it”, I still looked cute. By the end of my senior year, I barely wore makeup to school and I rarely dressed up unless our soccer team decided we would look cute on game days. I didn’t care what I looked like, and a lot of other people had that same mentality.
High school turned around for me at the start of my junior year. Although I’ve never been diagnosed with clinical depression, I can tell you that I was depressed my sophomore year. Things had been going downhill for me going on 3 years at that point, and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s the thing about high school–you feel like you’re old enough to be your own person and do whatever you want, but the reality is is that you’re not. You’re not old enough. You’re stuck in limbo until you can go on with your life. You have to take biology and fail math tests until you can go onto college or the military or the work force.
I started listening to bands during the summer between sophomore and junior year. This is when music really became a big thing in my life. It really helped me get through and calmed me down. There was one thing in particular that made a huge impact on my life: Pierce The Veil’s song “Hold On Till May”. This song meant the world to me. Vic Fuentes’ soothing voice when he sings the words “Darling, you’ll be okay.” was what got me through so much. I remember walking into all of my classes the first day of junior year repeating that line in my head. It became my motto. It calmed my nerves and it helped me through so many bad times.
Of course, it flew by. Senior year approached and so did everything that came with it: the “lasts”, college applications, entitlement to the best of privileges. I attended my last football games, I attended my last homecoming, I played soccer for my team for the last time. I stood in the long lines to get my hands on some greasy fries, I felt the sweat beading along my hairline as I ran during gym, I internally groaned when I was taking a test I didn’t study for. I ran my hands along the railings until the spot at the top of the stairs where there was a piece of gum stuck to it. I sat in class staring right through the teacher dreaming about the weekend, and I scribbled down the answers to the homework five minutes before the bell rang. Senior year flew by.
I had a lot of ups and downs throughout high school. The worst came during my senior year. My great grandma passed away, and so did my two cats (one during junior year, and the other during senior year.) Death is a lot to handle in high school. I’m thankful that it didn’t happen during my fresh/soph years because to be honest, I don’t think I could’ve lived with it. It would have been too much. I’m thankful that those first two years at high school built me up and made me stronger. And during my senior year, I really solidified my friend group and built a great support system. I wasn’t going through these bad things alone. It feels great to have a group of people behind you.
It’s almost 3 am and I have no words to say about high school except that I’m glad it’s done. I’m not glad because I hated it, I’m not glad because I was a loser, and I’m not glad because I can’t wait to get my life started. I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t a complete loser, and I am scared shitless for my life to set in motion. But I was glad to graduate high school because it was like ending the chapter of a good book. High school was a roller coaster. I made it out with some awesome friends, and I was so thankful. I didn’t cry when I sat in my chair wearing my cap and gown, I didn’t cry when my tassel was moved from the right to left, and I didn’t cry when I went down the isle shaking the hands of my teachers. I felt proud to have made it through when there were so many times I had wanted to give up. I felt happy with my best friends by my side.
It doesn’t feel weird that high school is over. To be honest, it doesn’t feel like summer at all yet. It’s gonna hit me later when I’m at orientation at the University of Iowa. It’s gonna hit me when I’m moving into a tiny room with a stranger. It’s gonna hit me when I sit at commencement in four years. Well, hopefully it will hit me a lot sooner than that. But you know what I mean.
Life has episodes. And this season is officially over. And I’m not sad about it, which is something that makes me happy.