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Senior Goodbye: A letter from an editor

The ninth and final draft of a goodbye four years in the making

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"I’ve always had a problem with writing way too much. I’m not finished, but I am fairly certain I’ve said enough."

Photo by Jayden Warren

Photo by Jayden Warren

"I’ve always had a problem with writing way too much. I’m not finished, but I am fairly certain I’ve said enough."

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Dear LHS,

Ever since I was little I’ve loved writing letters. As an introvert, I find a strong sense of satisfaction in using them to address people without having to meet face to face. Letters are an easy way to express emotions while still being socially awkward.

I’ve been looking forward to writing this since I found out about senior goodbyes during my sophomore year. Approximately eight drafts were written before I got to this one, but none of them ever felt quite right. There was always something else I wanted to say or felt like I should but couldn’t find the words to express.

How do I properly sum up the last four years of my life in one letter without either leaving almost everything out or writing yet another column so long no one wants to even try to edit it? How do I write something meaningful, heartfelt and strong without sounding ridiculous?

I’ve learned throughout the past four years that nothing ever turns out how you think it will. If you told me freshman year where I would be now, I’m not sure if I would have laughed or cried. The image I had in my head of senior year was nothing near where these past few months have been. And I’m OK with that.

Walking into freshman year I had maybe one friend (who didn’t even go to school with me after I transferred out of Marcus) and I was terrified of what was to come. Walking out of senior year I have one close friend (who also doesn’t go to school with me anymore), but I’m ready to have a knife fight with the future if that’s what it takes.

High school isn’t a place where everything is perfect and you figure your whole life out. It’s a messy place where you realize you don’t know everything you thought you did and you’re not really sure what’s going on half the time. You make mistakes with people you’ll never speak to after graduation, and you’ll laugh, cry and make a fool of yourself because you only get to do this once.

These past four years have been some of the best and worst of my life. Freshman year was a roller coaster, but I had a blast with people I’ve barely said two words to since. Sophomore year was somehow the longest and shortest year of my life. Junior year burst the bubble I didn’t know I was in.

Senior year has been full of realizations and growth. I’m certainly not the same person I was in August, or even last month, but I’d like to think I’ve changed for the better. Looking back, I now know more than I thought I ever would about myself and the world around me.

Now, more than ever, I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. It may be a naive approach to the world, to think that it’s all going to be OK in the end, but I’ve seen too much goodness in the world to think there isn’t a purpose behind it all. We may not always like the journey, but it’s going to be alright if we keep going. People are always stronger than they think they are.

When it comes to those who’ve helped me the most, the list ranges from two to twenty people long, depending on what criteria I choose for who I should address. Regardless, there are definitely certain people who have had a big hand in the past four years.

To my freshman year friends: Thank you for belting out the lyrics to “Let It Go” in a crowded theater and watching “Back to The Future” while experiencing Chipotle for the first time with me. Even though I’ve barely seen any of you since our last day at our lunch table, I hope you all get where you want to be in life.

To the Chicken Squad: Our group was probably the biggest mess I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot coming from me. I’ll forever cherish our ‘Cards Against Humanities’ games and debates about hot dogs. It’s weird how everything worked out, but I really wish all of you the best because I know what you are each capable of.

To my church family: I can’t imagine going through the past 10 months without you all. You have shown me kindness and love from the beginning, and I am forever grateful for how you have helped me progress in my faith. A special thank you goes to the two who brought me into such a wonderful group; I truly don’t know where I would be if you two hadn’t invited me to NorthPoint.

To the only friend I had at the start of the year: We’ve grown apart recently and that makes me extremely sad. I’ll never forget the times we nearly ended up in Waco and complained about our lives during our lunches. Thank you for being my friend when I had no one and I’m sorry for not being there for you as much as I should of. You’re going to do great in San Antonio.

To #impeachjaydenwarren: I was slightly scared going into this year on staff after all the chaos last year, but I wouldn’t give up these past few months for anything. You put up with me screaming Kenny Chesney at 8 a.m. on the way to school and kept me at least somewhat sane during newspaper. Keep me in the drama loop, make sure my prodigy keeps up the tradition of annoying Boyle and take good care of FarHar.

To my trash sister: It’s only fitting I address you in my senior goodbye. We’ve come a long way from when we saw “Duff” my sophomore year, from the she-devil to the iPhone 5 strawberry addict, we’ve fought a lot of battles. Thank you for putting up with me sending you way too many memes and needing constant reassurance that you don’t hate me. Whether it’s my gecko or a mental breakdown, I know you’ll always be there reminding me that everything will be OK in the end. I cannot wait until the day you’re finally as happy as you deserve to be.

To Elizabeth Michelle: How do I sum up the past three years? The first day you were in our newspaper class I didn’t know if I’d end up liking you and now I can’t imagine having gone through everything without your help. Every kid needs a teacher like you at least once in their life, one who genuinely cares about their students and listens to them no matter what. Thank you for dealing with my complaining, sarcasm, self-deprecation and mess of a life. I’ll be back to visit and annoy you more.

To the Farmers’ Harvest: The only thing freshman me was right about was that newspaper would be the biggest part of my high school experience. Throughout the past four years, I’ve spent so much time working on the site, from the awful news brief I wrote as freshman in J1 to a column that helped get me the internship of a lifetime. Despite all the work I put in, I know I could have done more, and I’m sorry for that. Thank you for giving me a home, something to focus on when I don’t want to think about how much my life is falling apart. You have given me the best people and things in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.

It’s been a heavy four years. I can’t say I’ve particularly enjoyed them but I am glad I went through all of it. I’m still not sure where exactly I’ll end up in my life, but I have plenty of time to figure that out. This summer I’ll be working for the Dallas Morning News and in the fall I’ll start school at the University of Missouri. After Aug. 16, 2017 nothing is for sure, but whatever happens, I know that I’ll be OK.

There are so many more things I want to say. More people to thank, stories to share and warnings to give. But this is already so long I’m not sure why you’re still reading it. I’ve always had a problem with writing way too much. I’m not finished, but I am fairly certain I’ve said enough.

So thank you LHS. Thank you to my teachers, to the friends I made and the ones I lost. The people who I never talked to and the one’s I wish I hadn’t. Thank you for helping me grow into the person I am and the person I’m going to be one day. Thank you for teaching me countless lessons and bringing me endless stories.

I’ll make sure to tell you the rest of mine one day.

Yours truly,

Abigail Shaw
2016-17 Farmers’ Harvest Co-Editor in Chief
Actual Trash Can and Future Professional Journalist

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The school news site of Lewisville High School
Senior Goodbye: A letter from an editor