The day of graduation. It's a day that kids have looked forward to since kindergarten. It's a day that seems like it will never arrive, especially during the long hours of high school. It's one of those days that you expect to feel so different on, yet when it actually arrives, feels just like every other day.
Don't get me wrong. I'm excited. But I've been mentally done with school for these two weeks between the last day and the actual commencement ceremony, so this just seems like more of a formality than an actual marker for the end of high school. And I'm nervous, but that's less because of the whole "beginning of our futures" aspect and more because I know that I am going to have to walk across a stage in front of an auditorium full of many people and, let's face it, I'm not too good at walking.
And I guess I'm also a little scared. Not so much of never seeing these people again, but never seeing them in the same context. In this, I don't count my best friends, my maruaders, those girls I've spent these years of high school with and wouldn't ever change that for the world, for a million dollars, even for Conor Oberst's hand in marriage. I'm not worried about losing touch with them. I truly believe our friendship is too strong for that, and we will always find our way back to each other.
No, what I'm worried about is my acquaintances, my school friends, or those kids that I say hi to in the hallway sometimes. I'm sure I'll run up against them in those great awkward meeting places; Tops, Wal-Mart, the annual carnival. But it won't be the same. We won't be high school students anymore, we won't be able to ask if this or that teacher assigned homework, we won't be able to say "See you Monday!" High school, that great equivocator, is gone, and so these students that I've spent so much of my life with and I don't have much in common anymore. I'm going to miss the easyness of high school, the hanging out in study halls, and the talking through classes. I'm going to miss having everyone right within close reach. I'm going to miss those people that I've made friends with, just in time to lose them to college. I'm going to miss those people with whom my friendship might not be sure enough to make the "keep in touch" promises in the yearbook come true.
I'm not mourning it. I'm excited to be out in the world, moving on to different things. I won't be crying at Graduation, because I'm not naive enough to believe that high school has been the best years of my life. I hope to God that they aren't my best years, because, while good, great, and at times even wonderful, there's more to life than high school. But breaking from those routines, becoming an adult, not having quite so many authority figures to chaperone and tell what must be done, that's a little frightening. But I embrace it wholeheartedly.
See you guys on the otherside. Seniors '09!