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A Teen’s Perspective by Charly Frisk

When I was younger, graduation used to mean a time where the supermarkets were stocked with plush bears with cute black caps on furry heads, fancy lettering on congratulatory cards, and balloons bursting with best regards to future endeavors of high school/college students.

When I attended my school’s graduation my freshman year the meaning of the word changed. It became less of a season when stores burst with congratulatory decorations – transforming into more of an occasion that was much more meaningful – it became an event of inspiration. Nothing compares to watching students walk up to that stage full of excited (potentially teary eyed) teachers and administrators in front of all their friends and family and receive that diploma that they have been waiting to receive for years. When I watched them proudly take their envelope with the enclosed diploma, it was empowering to me. It showed me that all the late nights spent studying, all the days spent in class, and all the work put in to achieve decent grades was worth it. Graduation is when the students are praised and thanked for all the hard work they have done – recognized for their achievements.

Soon, it will be my turn. While I am excited to graduate, to feel that flood of accomplishment and pride, I am not yet ready to go. Despite the fact that I might not feel quite ready, life will carry on and I will graduate regardless. But, are you ever really ready to leave? Sure, you can try to prepare yourself, “pinning” room decorations that will be perfect for your ideal dorm room, or visiting the college, but you will never really know what to expect until you experience it yourself. On that note, when the day does come for you to “leave the nest” it will be new and exciting, and full of potential!

As this exciting date approaches, we, as graduates, are undergoing the “leaving” process. Much of what you may find on the internet about leaving the house can come off as negative. Here are some things to keep these last days sunny. “Everything will feel like it is ending. It’s like I am doing everything the last time.” I expected everything to feel like the last time, feeling that emptiness of “Wow. That’s the last time I’m ever going to do that.” I just closed my last theater production, my last mock trial tournament, and attended my last prom. However, I feel different. I feel like everything seems like the last only if I look back on it in the past and dwell on what will never exist again in the future. If one only focuses on what happened in the past, you can never appreciate the joy of what might occur in the present. If one only focuses on what may never happen in the future, you can never appreciate the joy of what life may bring. And so, in the most cliche way possible, I am telling you to live in the present. I hope that this persuades you, because if you don’t take every moment and appreciate every single drop of happiness, you will unfortunately miss out on all the wonderful opportunities. Sure, things around you are ending and you can’t hide from that fact of inevitability, but everything around you is also just beginning!

“I just want to leave. I am so done with this school.” Let me unveil a little secret for you…all high schools face drama. Sometimes we just get on each other’s nerves. Drama may intensify in these last few months. Emotions run high. Doubts may pile up. Stress from tests and homework builds. Senioritis infiltrates motivation. Know that we are all going through the same thing. There is no need in tearing others down because everybody needs somebody to be there for them through this difficult transitional period. Keep it chill. You might just miss these people.

In just a month, I will be walking the stage to get my diploma. Though I am nervous, I am excited and happy to start this new chapter. To all my juniors and underclassmen, enjoy each moment! To all my seniors, I wish the best for all of you.

You have the power to make a difference.