While putting on my new UK bumper sticker (please know that I love bumper stickers), I realize that my life is beginning much more quickly than I could have ever imagined. As a senior, I spent all year anticipating the day I will never have to walk the halls of Harlan High School again, but now I don’t know what to do with myself.
Today, I finished my valedictorian speech. I have strived for this honor since middle school, when I found out what a “valedictorian” was. I remember I wrote a valedictorian speech in the seventh grade (how conceited I was, or determined—your opinion), and I am sitting here in disbelief that I actually made this dream come true.
For the last month or so, I have been gathering baby pictures from my dear seniors to create a graduation video—my present to you guys. After weeks of annoying seniors with “Hey! I need your baby picture!” I have finally have them all in my hands, and the graduation video is finished. As I play the video one last time before I burn it to a disc, a little part inside of me weeps for all these friends I have made in the past twelve years, whom I know I may never see again. Wow. This is really happening.
Tomorrow is my last true day of high school. While anxious for this new beginning, I am a bit heartbroken.
I graduate in two days.
I GRADUATE in TWO days. I have to keep saying this in my head, because if not, it will creep up on me once again. I am in shock. Where has all the time gone?!
Never will I go to High School Prom again. Never will I sit through another long, drawn-out program. Never will I sit a lunch with my favorite peers of all time, gossiping about who did what. Never will I run errands for my favorite high school teachers. Never will I be an official tennis member. Never will I march on Harlan High School Football Field. Never will I spend tremendous amounts of time trying to find a parking space in front of the school. Never will I have five minutes to grab my books, visit the restroom, and make it back to my next class. And never will I see all the shining faces whom I love so much at Harlan High School, all at once, again.
In two days time, I will eat the last lunch with my sweet class of 2014. I will have my last laugh with the entire group. I will say goodbye to my teachers. I will drive around the high school, blowing my car horn, as it is tradition. I will receive my last high school academic award. I will speak my valedictorian speech, and walk away with a diploma. I will also trade my Harlan Green Dragon status to be a University of Kentucky Wildcat.
I can now understand what the alumni say when they warn us that this year will fly by. It seems as though it were only weeks ago that I was ruffling through my closet trying to choose what to wear on the first day of school. In the blink of an eye, I am at the edge of senior year, soon to be pushed straight into what they call “life.” I suddenly have my own car, townhouse, bills to pay, and a job interview next Friday. I am currently pondering when I became so old!
I am truly in disbelief. Forever will I cherish the little dragon in me that is cuddled up to my mom, and wishing bad things away. It is a bittersweet moment, but Hello to a new beginning, and Goodbye, Harlan High School.
For those of you that want to know, graduation will be held on Saturday, May 31st at 1:30 PM at the Harlan Baptist Church. This fall, I will be attending the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences as a Psychology Scholar. My future plans include finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, attending medical school, and then becoming a pediatric psychiatrist. I have been extremely interested in working with children and learning about their thoughts and behaviors. I have not got everything figured out (who truly does?), but I am, both, excited and nervous to begin this new journey. Thank you for reading, and I will be back to tell more!