Today, I said goodbye to my school. I’ve been there my whole life, and as of now, I am no longer a student there.
I said goodbye to some friendships. I know that even if I try to hold on and keep going, they will slip out of my grasp.
I said goodbye to wonderful teachers. I’m going to miss them and their classes dreadfully.
I said goodbye to an era. It was hard.
It’s harder to know that my school friends are all boys, and they don’t understand the emotions I’m moving through right now. They don’t understand their role in those emotions.
Today, I met so many people that I’ve only ever known as names on screens. I put faces to classmates. Some I hadn’t interacted with in years. Some I call my friends. However, none of my friends were particularly good to me. They have all let me down, one way or another. As a whole, they’ve each left me with the burden of maintaining our friendship.
Perhaps that was why the most striking moment of my day came from someone I never called friend. Someone I never saw eye to eye with.
I was walking back through the halls after the ceremony. I’d collected my diploma and was passing the line of students still awaiting theirs.
He stretched his hand out to me for a shake. “Congratulations, Lexi,” he said.
I’m sure my face reflected the surprise I felt, but I shook his hand. “Thanks, Matt, you too.”
How is it that those I called friend could feel like anything but friends on this day: our high school graduation? And yet, some people I never took the time to know blew me away.
I can’t help but be sad to wave goodbye to a precious time in my life. My sadness doubles when I realize I have no one to talk to about it. It triples when I remember those I should be able to talk to don’t actually care. I’m finally pushed to tears when I acknowledge those I call friend aren’t really friends after all.
It was a good day. Dear friends and family made the long drive to come watch me wobble across a stage in heels. The ceremony was shorter than I expected, and it was sweet. The speeches were humble and honorable. The video I contributed to was well received. I sat beside two wonderful people. However, the greatest part of my day was being called onto the stage with seven other students to receive specialized department awards; being wrapped up in a hug with my favorite teacher. Finally feeling…justified, in front of my peers.
I am ready for the new era. I’m ready for deep and meaningful friendships. I’m ready for college and trying to be a grown-up.
Deep inside, I will always miss my childhood and my school. But I think that it’s a good sign that I feel ready to fly away.