Editor in Chief bids farewell

Fellow seniors, I’m sure you’re aware, but just in case you didn’t get the memo, graduation is this coming weekend.

When you start to get ready Sunday afternoon, you’ll put on fancy clothes and subsequently cover them with a ballooning graduation gown.

Girls, you’ll get to spend some time in front of the mirror trying to figure out how to successfully tuck your hair into those awkward, but oh-so-sophisticated graduation caps.

Boys, you’ll have to pull on a collared shirt, even though you might prefer a comfortable tee.

Then, we’ll all gather at the school, march around for a bit and sit together on the track (or gym floor) in rows of hard, foldable chairs, as our top scholars give us speeches about cherishing these past four years and charging into our futures with optimism and enthusiasm.

Before you roll your eyes at all of the cheesiness or yawn and lean back in your chair because you stayed up a little too late on Saturday night at graduation parties, take a moment to live in the moment.

You’ll be sitting with three hundred some kids who have you have gone to school with for the past four years (a few for the past thirteen years). Some of those kids are people you have gotten to know very well, and some of them you didn’t even know went to the same school as you. But you all have a connection.

(Yes, I know. That’s ridiculously cliché, but hear me out.)

In the future, say ten years from now, when you are moving into a new house or starting a new job or even grocery shopping, and you find out that your new neighbor, coworker, or shopping-line buddy was in the same high school class as you, you immediately have something to relate to.

You and your fellow alumnus can trade news about other people from your graduating class, reminisce about so-and-so’s math class, and laugh at the clothes you used to wear. It’s not like you have to best friends just because you went to the same school, but you do get a few moments to realize what you have in common, even if it was only the same first period class second semester of junior year.

And after you’re done thinking about those three hundred kids, take a second to think about your teachers. Remember the lessons they taught you, whether they were about geometry, music, British literature, woodworking, or life in general.

Send a silent thank you to them for all the times they told you to get to school on time or turn in your homework or study for a test, because believe it or not, responsibility is one of high school’s greatest lessons.

Remember the custodians and lunch workers and disciplinary officers who helped keep you tidy, gave you food to eat, and didn’t let you get away with silly shenanigans.

And finally, think about yourself.

How have you changed over the past four years? Did you switch up your style? Become a vegetarian? Find a love for tennis? Decide you want to be a speech pathologist? Grow some substantial facial hair?

How have you impacted others? Did you teach someone how to use the quadratic formula? Did you make someone smile by complimenting their purple shoes? Did you inspire other people? Did you support your friends when they were going through rough times?

And most importantly, what are you going to do now? Travel the world? Spend your last summer before college maximizing your time with your high school friends? Prepare for college courses? Work for some extra cash?

Whatever you did during your time in high school and whatever you’re going to do now, I hope you have good memories, and I hope you are excited for what’s the life that’s ahead of you.

And for the few of you who read all of the way through this, thank you. All of the work my fellow Ocksheperida writers and I put into this paper is all for people like you.

Stay golden (and blue), SHS alumni.