Senior Goodbye: Reeling through the end

‘I’ve made it.’

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“Now that I’ve gotten a taste of what it’ll feel like to be away from this journey, I want to go back.” Courtesy of Rachel Blake.

Walking into my kindergarten class with my mom in hand, I look around the colorful room. My soon-to-be favorite teacher, Ms. Henslee, greets us both and I find a table with my name on it. An uncolored, printed picture of an old school house sits with a box of crayons, begging to be opened. I look up at my mom and tell her “You can go now,” something we still laugh about. I was so anxious to start my journey of independence inside this classroom. The future reality of graduation never crosses my mind.

But I guess I’m now weeks away from graduating, virtually. Outwardly, I’ve continuously complained about my desire to leave this school and never look back. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of what it’ll feel like to be away from this journey, I want to go back.

I want to go back to my middle school and relive it all. Well, maybe not the bad parts. I want to go back to my spring semester of junior year; excited for my summer before senior year while taking the classes that’ll go down as my all-time favorites. I want to go back to elementary school, when I didn’t have worries about anything.

Even though I want to go back, I want to move on. I want to experience college and make new friends. I want to go out on my own and live the independent life to its fullest. Before I do that, I should say a goodbye to the people that mean the most to me:

To all the teachers who have impacted me: Funny enough, the majority of the teachers who have impacted me are English teachers. I thank all of you for furthering my education while also giving me someone to open up to, making school a safe space for me. Mr. Gonzalez, I’ll miss hanging out in your room and talking about obscure topics. Pinkham, newspaper has become the best class I’ve ever taken and I wish I would’ve joined sooner. To all the middle school teachers that helped me in my darkest moments, you don’t know how much you helped me.

To newspaper: I’ve had so much fun. I will miss being able to manage this crazy staff alongside Pinkham and Val. I’ve learned more than I thought. It gave me loads of experience in a field I might try to pursue. As well, I have high expectations with the staff I am leaving behind. I will come visit when I can, and I’m staying in Lewisville until further notice (this is to Anna and Andrea).

To my past self: I’ve made it. 

“For some things, this is a goodbye. But for others, just merely a see you again.” Courtesy of Rachel Blake.

To the group chat: Some of you I’ve only been friends with for a year and others, several years. I’ll miss going to the park with y’all or hanging out at Katie’s house. All of y’all are crazy and I hope the insane conversations we have continue as we go off to college. I’ve been through my ups and downs with y’all and I couldn’t ask for a better round-the-clock support system. We need to start planning some get-togethers, six feet apart or not. For y’all, this isn’t a goodbye, but a thank you.

To my family, blood or not: Thank you for the consistent support. I gained two brothers and a crazy aunt within my time in high school and I couldn’t be happier. As much as we fight and bicker, I am forever grateful for all the help I’ve received. I’m ready to watch y’all start and finish your own high school experiences, your big sister is always here for you, at any time. I thank both my parents for letting me express myself and do whatever my heart desires. Thank you to aunt Staci for the laughs and the amazing food you cook. For y’all, this isn’t a goodbye, but a thank you.

To the girl I met in preschool: I really lucked out, didn’t I? You’ve been the best constant throughout my school experience. I’m not sure how I’m going to let you move away from me. I never thought I’d visit Missouri ever in my life, but now I have to. I will miss the car rides and the overnights while you sleep on my floor with half of my pillows. I’ll miss working together to somehow manage this newspaper. If quarantine doesn’t affect this, we need to have one last coffee trip and drive around to the nostalgic places in the dirty lew. I love you forever, no stupid drama can get in between us. For you, this isn’t a goodbye, but a thank you.

Joking about with all my old classmates, we save our goodbyes for until after spring break. We never really thought that would possibly be the last time stepping into the school as students.

One last time in the newspaper room. One last time seeing the people I pass by in the hallway I may never see again. One last time listening to my teachers refer to me as their student. Walking out the doors of the school and to my car, thinking our spring break would be extended a couple weeks. If this becomes my last day, it will be a story for the future. I hope the classes behind me take their last days for all they’re worth. It’s been a long 13 years. For some things, this is a goodbye. But for others, just merely a see you again.

“We’re reeling through the midnight streets
And I’ve never felt more alone
It feels so scary, getting old”
Ribs by Lorde