As a high school teacher, I have been able to watch the excitement build every June as seniors get ready to take their last steps out the doors of the high school and onto the beginning of the rest of their lives. I find mostly sheer happiness with the seniors at my school. They can't wait to be out and on their own, and often times they have already been "checked out" for several months prior. The final bell on their last day is pure relief to both them AND their teachers.
As a senior in 2002, I remember it all very differently. Pure joy wasn't the feeling of that last day. It felt more closely to pure dread. The final 30 min of school, somehow we all mangaged to get out of class, and a big group of us stood arm in arm in a big circle in the main office. We all were crying (girls and guys)....like really crying, remembering it all, sad to see it end, scared to part the walls that kept us together, unsure if we really wanted to leave our friends and start all over in an unknown college or university. We listened as our principal Mr.Brooks stood in front of us and gave an announcement over the loud speaker of his excitement and encouragement to us seniors. We knew he loved us. It was never student against principal with Mr.Brooks. As the bell rang, the hallway filled with more tear stained eyes. Everyone was crying, hugging, and hanging around. There was never truely a class like mine. I never felt hate for any other social group. Everyone really got along. The popular kids were a mixture of every part of high school.... the AP students, the athletes, the band members, chorus, school musical kids, student government. There were so many well rounded students in my class....it's inspiring to think back to how special it was to be a part of it. The Vitamin C graduation song was played over the loud speaker on that last day, which I just heard in the car. It's what sent me back and inspired this post. Here are some of the words...
"And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives
Where we're gonna be when we turn 25
I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same...
As we go on, we remember
All the times we had together
And as our lives change, from whatever
We will still be, friends forever"
Well 25 has come and gone now, and that last day of school in 2002 is still very dear to my heart (and slightly comical on how dramatic we all were). My high school girlfriends are still my most cherished friends. They were all my bridesmaids. They all grew up into amazing women as I knew they would. I love that they are still a part of my life. I feel pretty darn lucky to have had such great memories in high school to where I didn't want them to end. I moved on to have great college memories, and great memories of meeting Jake and falling in love and now we are building wonderful memories of being a family (a growing family at that).
In 2 years it will be 10 years since I graduated high school. I am sure I will watch many seniors pass through my classroom, but I will always feel slightly bad for them, that they didn't get to be a senior at Arlington High School in 2002!