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Reflections from the End

Graduation+for+the+Class+of+2017
Graduation for the Class of 2017

Graduation for the Class of 2017

Graduation for the Class of 2017

Harley Jackson, Staff Writer

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The trials and tribulations that face graduating high school seniors are widely known and for the three years preceding them you’re constantly waned that “it’s going to go by really fast”. Now that I’m at the end of that slippery slope, I’ve found myself with some interesting reflections.

I’ve had, to a degree, the inevitable moment of “wow, I was an IDIOT,” but I happened to be in the lucky percentage who stop being an idiot before everyone slips away to various far-off colleges, possibly never to be heard from again. That’s the part I struggle most to comprehend—real change is going to happen in the next couple months. Sure, transitions from middle school to high school are a big shift, but it’s still basically the same. You live with your parents (probably), you keep the true friends (hopefully), and the same people are more or less still around. But with the graduation from near-adult to adult, people leave. They really leave. That kid who has mysteriously been in your English class for the last six years and whom you’ve had a few conversations with might be going to California, or South Carolina, or Costa Rica. The familiar background characters of your life will largely be gone. But the hard part is when the main characters go, too. Or if you go. Even if you keep in touch, they’re still a hundred, or several hundred, or a thousand miles away from the physical location near you that they’ve long inhabited. The scenery begins to look unfamiliar, like your first steps into a magic land, when you can’t tell if it’s Narnia or the Forbidden Forest. I’m sure this is what everyone says but: I really plan to stay in touch. Sorry, you’re all stuck with me, even if you’re in Sheridan, or South Dakota, or boot camp.

This brings to mind the other prominent reflection that has tumbled around in my brain the last few months: are we really expected to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives? Again, I’ve had the fortune to know for the most part but I’ve watched a few close friends, one in particular, struggle to “pick a major”. ”Pick a major.” The words that ring repeatedly around every Senior. But we’re hardly into our lives, what is eighteen years when most of us don’t remember the first five at least? Since when is “you have to get it right the first try” an encouraged maxim? And whilst they say “you can always switch,” every change costs money, and an exorbitant amount in the world we all live in. That’s a rant for another day, but the point is that the pressure, even if unintentional, can be crippling. Setting out to start exploring the world and yourself shouldn’t be crushing your will to set out at all.

To avoid such a thing I plan to keep things important to me close, even if they’re far away, and follow my heart and dreams, not the shouting and clamoring of the rest of the world. Whether this is your year to leave the nest, or if it’s next year, or even the year after, I wish you the best of luck. For as the saying goes, “the best laid plans often go awry.”

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Reflections from the End