Let life commence
by Dominique Lie
I scrunched up my forehead into a slight frown as I heard the song “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men playing on the speakers.
I was a freshman walking into Ms. Langevin’s room for the last journalism class of the year and was slightly confused about the choice of music for the day. After all, I had three more years of high school to look forward to (At the time, the road was definitely not ending anytime soon).
Now that we’re only days away from graduation and really at the “End of the Road,” there is a question no graduating senior can avoid: are you excited?
There is no easy answer to this inquiry, because truthfully, I think most of us aren’t sure what to think and feel about finally graduating from high school. So, we smile and assure ourselves that we are indeed excited about donning our graduation gowns and shedding any last ties to the ignorant child that often roamed the halls of Schurr High School in favor of the uncertainty that comes with commencement (and I’m not even 18 yet).
High school has been one long, winding road that changed my perception of the world. In four years, beliefs that I had originally held were challenged by experiences I went through, and suddenly, in no time at all, I am almost finished with this stage of my life and about to enter the next.
As I continue to reflect on my high school career, I look back with nostalgia on the distinct memories that enter my mind: I remember watching the clock count down the seconds before the buzzer while watching water polo games and also participating in them myself (with varying level of success). I’ve had long nights going over calculus formulas, watched football games as my friends and I tried to figure out the rules of the game, and stayed at school way, way too long to finish the newspaper.
I have experienced almost all the things a “typical” high school student should, and yet, I’m left feeling as though something is missing or that I’m not fully understanding something.
There’s an idea presented by popular culture that perhaps graduating high school or college will allow the fog which blocks the sight of the much longer road and journey ahead to dissipate, and I think most students are happier believing this than confronting reality. I know I was. Only now, while writing this column and really contemplating my past and future am I tackling some truly terrifying thoughts.
I can attempt to barricade the road to my past and push forward, disregarding the call from my past to return to ignorant bliss, or I can follow Fitzgerald’s famous words that tell readers “we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
I realize that some of these memories may have been difficult to process at the time–moments full of fatigue, loss and disappointment also enter my mind– but I can’t seem to let go of any of them.
After graduating, I will never be able to step on campus with the same feeling of belonging I have developed these past four years. Rooms that gave me a feeling of joy will have a different air, younger friends will grow, and eventually there will be virtually nothing but a picture in a yearbook and a name on a plaque to mark my existence at this school.
It truly is human nature to, as Jay Gatsby does, seek to reclaim parts of the past. Once again, I will be a lost freshman, but this time on a much larger scale with bigger stakes. Why wouldn’t I desire the safe environment that I once had here?
If I’m being honest, writing this column has left me with a lot more questions I need answered, but I have time to figure out them out beyond Schurr High’s campus.
So, while it is now the “End of the Road” for me at Schurr, reflecting on my high school career and all the new questions and uncertainties, I think I can finally say, “I’m excited for commencement.”