Goodbye, Harlan High School.

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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.

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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!

Best,

Yin 

My Mind Senior Year

In the midst of my senior year of high school, I’ve learned that senior year is a stressful one. Personally, I used to believe that Senior Year was supposed to be the breeze. Junior year was said to be the hardest, and I made it through that one (barely). With so much pressure on your shoulders, it’s hard to feel the breeze that is supposedly blowing my way. While it is a very cool year indeed, all I really feel is the slick slopes of ice on the roads and the harsh coldness emitting from the winter. For some reason, I thought the breeze would be much more pleasant.

My high school has went through great lengths to prepare me and my fellow seniors for the next few years, and, in my opinion, it has been quite successful in doing so. We’ve got the knowledge to make it through freshman year at least, and our survival techniques have grown by far (we know how to shower daily now) With that said and done, here are the things seniors are really thinking about right now aside from grades, college applications, financial aid, or anything around that matter:

1. Food –

…a thought that occupies our teenage minds probably every five minutes or so and is supplied daily through mom or dad’s great cooking (or in my case, my restaurant’s). How does one freshman college student obtain nutrition when one’s parents are far far away? This is pretty much mind-blowing to some of us; the fact that we, ourselves, have the ability to cook…that we will actually have to. And, then, the worst part…if we don’t cook for ourselves, we only have two options left: to pay for fattening and greasy fast food (with our own money, mind you) or to starve. At this point, we’re looking at gaining a lottt of weight or starving to death. This is just not okay.

2. Graduation –

We’re only looking past it right now because we have to. What’s really on our mind is the end, not the beginning. Our day to shine is sooo close, but still so so far. My count is 79 school days left, and I am ready for them to fly by (at least I think I am). We’re iffy about the “starting our lives” part afterwards, but my goodness, we can’t wait to get high school over with. I’ve heard that we will regret this feeling in the future…but I haven’t thought otherwise quite yet. I think I may feel it around day 10 left…maybe.

3. What am I gonna do about my relationship? –

Typing this one makes me feel silly, but I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind or anyone else’s…several times. Now, I must assure you that, in no way, has my relationship taken a serious role in choosing where I want to go or what I want to do next year. I am very particular in making sure that what I want is 100% what I want, and Eric seems to support that matter (thankful for this guy!).

This topic does not only pertain to those “high school sweethearts,” but those “high school friends” as well. I, personally, have no idea how I am going to function without my best friend.  What are we going to do when that guy or gal that is always by our side is suddenly hundreds of miles away? More dramatically, HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE WITHOUT THEM?! This is a serious matter, guys…

4. Our past –

It’s fun and sometime’s awful, to look back on. But when we really get down to it…it really baffles us. There are three general categories the go towards these thoughts and they are determined by how far we go back in time:

“Did we do that crap when we were freshmen?” while observing the new freshmen’s daily habit or act and reminiscing the beginning of high school.
What was I thinking?” That’s when looking back from middle school, a pretty treacherous moment in time.
And “I remember this and miss it so much!” pertaining to elementary years and below.

While we should be concentrating on our futures, our pasts are such much easier to cope with (well, not middle school) and are much more enjoyable to think about. Futures consist of not-knowing, and that’s a fear we’ll all have to overcome…in the future (see what I did there?). Yes, we are afraid. Of course, we are. But rather than making us show that, just allow us to remember…we’ve got the time for it now.

5. Finishing the year strong (and HAPPY) –

What is a senior year without one to remember? To me, this is our last year to shine. Our last year as one, our last year to laugh with those we grew up with, and our last year to be remembered. This isn’t “senior-itis”—a common phrase to pardon wild laziness and slack. This is “Hey, this is my last year here and I want to make the best of it! I’m almost at the end, so what can I do to make it last?”

And then, we seniors, proceed to find that something…whether it be trading a fun party for having to write an essay the day before it’s due or staying up all night for that great attentiveness in class the next morning. At this point in time, the last thing we truly want to think about is that worksheet due tomorrow or the lecture we’re getting in the morning. Although this thought may hinder us at times, it’s still there.

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