A lesson learned in time

Today is the last day school for every senior on campus, and in one week, we will enter the real world. Graduation is an emotional time—it feels like the beginning of the end, even though it is really the end of the beginning.

Some students are devastated to say goodbye to their friends, others are ecstatic at the thought of summer, a few are even relieved to leave this campus. I am a little of all those emotions, but most of all I am terrified.

I would like to spend the entire summer with my friends, enjoying what little time we have left together. I would like to pretend college is not looming over the horizon, coming nearer every second, but I can’t. I’ve always been a glass-half-full person.

I have spent my entire life trying to be independent and self-sufficient. I have worked harder than I ever thought I could to do my best—and in the end, none of it matters.

Because truth be told, nothing could have ever prepared me for being 3,000 miles from home, without any support system, living completely on my own.

I am scared that when I get to school, I won’t make friends. I am worried about not even being mediocre. Most of all, I am worried about not having a best friend I trust—someone one whose shoulder I can cry or talk to about the big things.

For someone who has above all things tried to be prepared, college is a scary thought. We seniors have spent the better part of the year praying to get in anywhere, but I don’t think we ever really thought about what would happen once we got there.

While my fears are specific to me, everyone has something they’re worried about. I have spent the last couple months try to come to terms with those fears, but the only thing I have come to terms with is that in the end, it’s sink or swim. And of course, I was never a good swimmer .

I have realized I can’t rationalize my fears. The reason college is scary now is because it is my immediate future. In four years, it will be getting a job. In 10, maybe marriage.

When I think about everything I have learned in school, I am most grateful for having learned to roll with the punches. As I graduated, I am sure I will note with cynicism the Eagle’s Nest Cafe that sits idle, the lack of diversity in AP and honors classes and the fact that I know fewer than half the students in my graduating class.

But as I enter the real world with my fears, I will do so with the ability to survive anything, something I learned in the classrooms of this school. For that, I am truly grateful.