You know, it is really strange to be saying goodbye to a place I never thought I would leave. Quite frankly, I do not want to. Every student finds themselves wishing the days would go by faster, the days would get shorter, the time would come quicker . . . I have learned the hard way that wishful thinking is not to be exploited.
I began my journey at Central High School right where most others have: freshman year, the year of absolute confusion. I have learned that, as I have become older, each year has become more confusing than the last. As I approached senior year, I had no idea what in the world I was doing — and I still have no idea. However, this is not a sappy goodbye. I will be back.
Central High is filled with people you cannot help but love (yes, even the annoying ones). There are staff members who want to see you succeed and students who, at the end of the day, you will miss when you realize you will never see them again. As I have grown and flourished these four years, I have had the honor of watching my fellow peers grow up with me, and it is hard to say I will probably never see them again after graduation day.
They say graduating from high school is the first step into getting into the real world, but I can honestly say I am not ready for that to happen. And that is okay; admitting fear is the first step to overcoming it. Staying in my little shell of the Hamilton County School District sounds so much better than exploring a place that has more cons than pros, but Central will not keep me forever, as much as I wish they would.
High school for me might be coming to an end, but it is only the ending of the first chapter of my life. So many people have helped me become the person I am today, and I could never thank them enough for inspiring me, nurturing me, and guiding me into a still mildly immature young adult.
To the Digest staff, I could never thank you guys enough for accepting me my junior year. I have never laughed so hard, eaten so much food, or learned how to dance with Dancing Kim so well without you. There are a lifetime of friends here who want the best for everyone and who are not afraid to push you towards the right thing, whether that be to put illegal parking stickers on the person who kept taking my parking spot or locking the freshmen out the back door. You have truly influenced my writing for the better and influenced me to become the best person possible. I love you guys so, so much. I will always be part of the Digest staff, and you will be seeing me in the following year.
To Hannah Walker, my video partner and the most meme-like person I have never met, words cannot describe how much I appreciate you. Your genius ideas of introducing videos to the website has opened up a whole new branch of inspiration for me, and I could never thank you enough for being such an awesome video editor. I got to tell you, though, senioritis hit me hard, man. By the end of the year, I could not tell the difference between the front and back of a mechanical pencil, and waking up to be in Munson’s class first thing in the morning only made it worse. However, we made it through and I could not be any more proud of us. I have high expectation for you; I expect to see great things come from you after high school. I love you, Hannah Montana.
To Mr. Cantrell, the one teacher who got to see me for three hours a day everyday, you made senior year truly bearable. From making fun of your basic English classes to discovering who lit the back of the room on fire that one day, there was never a dull moment with you. You kept me sane every time I came from Munson’s class, and you always had a fun story to share. Your personality is honestly the best, it is just so witty and sarcastic, and I live for it. Also, I get to say that I made your life easier, because I graded your papers faster than we sent Jake on a mission to get him out of the room (love you, Missy May)! On a serious note though, do not let those eleventh graders drive you crazy just because I am not there anymore. It is not worth your time, and they will be gone soon anyway, and then you will have a whole new group of people you cannot stand. Is that not fun?
Finally, to Central High School, thank you for being my home. Thank you for being a place I (legally) had to go to, and thank you for shaping me into the young lady I hope myself to be. I might not have liked everyone there, but each person I encountered gave me a little piece of myself, and I could not be more grateful for the life lessons I have been taught. As I stated before, it is scary to think I have to leave you behind now, but you are never truly gone. You will always be in my memories for years to come. You will always be those circles on the hill, and I will see you everyday when I venture out into the real world.