Illustration by Ella Prillaman
We all have those friends that we will stay in contact long after high school is over. The few that we spent every weekend with during high school and the ones we will come back from college to see.
But what about the people we talked to for the first time in Civics and Psychology classes? What about the ones we always joked with in Business class and AP Lit to help each other get through the boring lectures? The same ones that knew when the 3:15 bell rang on Friday, you wouldn’t see each other until class on Monday.
These people I like to call my school friends. I may not be able to call you my best friends, but believe me when I say you made my high school experience what it was. This one’s for all my school friends out there.
You guys made me reach outside the friends I’ve been close with forever and discover there are amazing people everywhere. You only have to spark that first conversation to find them. You’ve taught me that living in comfort means merely settling, and instead, I should create my own path. Because of our interactions, my decision to go to school over 1,400 miles away next year is one that excites me instead of scares me.
Playing sports and going to school dances are two things that come to mind when I think of the best high school moments, but I tend to forget about the simple, happy moments that we had in class together. The stupid little moments that got us through the normal school days are beautiful interactions, and they should be celebrated more. There are so many of these from freshman to senior year, it’s hard to think of them all, but if you are reading this and recall a moment we’ve shared, you know who you are.
I just want to take this time to thank you. If you didn’t experience this with me, hopefully you did with someone else, and hopefully you can reflect on these moments and smile.
In high school, there were so many different groups with imaginary labels and there were times when I felt the peer pressure of it all, believing I had to belong to one group and one group only. You, my school friends, have taught me the power of not limiting myself to just one group.
You-might think that these are just the people you hang out with and that they don’t define who you are, and while that’s true, they play a larger role in shaping your identity than you think. If you only talk to one group of people, you could find yourself trapped in the collective attitude of the group. You guys have taught me to think differently, making me realize I don’t ever want to be a one-sided person.
It’s great to be well-rounded and talk with all sorts of people; this is the only way to figure out the person you actually are and the people that will support that true version of yourself. Because of you guys, I promise to carry this mindset with me through college and beyond.
The unfortunate conclusion to my time in high school has made it impossible to gain closure from the experience, but one thing it has done is remind me of you guys and all the fun things we used to do. It’s also made me think about the sad fact that I may not see some of you ever again. I want you to know your friendships are really important to me, I truly appreciate them all. Hopefully one day soon we will sit down and reminisce. Until that day, all I can say is thank you.