on graduation

Steam rises from my hair as it falls from the red-hot curling iron. My eyes, heavy with mascara, look at the clock on my nightstand.



-tick Tock-



… 4:14

I blink and open my eyes, lost in a sea of ​​teenagers, emotional, dressed in shimmering royal blue dresses that cloud my view.

6:00 am

Graduation …

A freshman lost in the hallways, struggling to hold onto my textbooks, grades, and the overwhelming weight of multiple extracurricular activities, I constantly dreamed of ending my senior year, the glory of graduating, and moving across the country to a glamorous college. .

Seniors looked longingly and wanted the same naive enthusiasm to leave as they traded their textbooks for gowns, already missing the easiest part of their lives.

My older sisters, plagued with an urgent combination of senioritis and nostalgia, seized every opportunity to encourage me to look around and fully embrace every experience, no matter how mundane, because as they discovered, they would all become memories.




-tick Tock-


Twenty-four lessons and four years later, with my cap pinned to my dirty blond hair, I walk through the empty halls of the school to the excited noise coming from the cafeteria.

The faces I’ve known all my life suddenly seem strange as their familiar eyes swell with joy and sorrow at the same time. Parents smile and wave, knowing that the next time they hug their child, everything will be different.

I look into the sea and immediately find my best friends. The smile I entrusted evokes me and suddenly I am taken back 13 years. We are not in the cafeteria that has seen all the palpitations and heartaches of our spontaneous teenage years, but the assigned tables of kindergarten, our first week of public education barely under our belts.

The boys with scruffy beards and roaring voices are small and youthful again, voices that squeak with laughter.

Girls with perfectly manicured nails and winged eyeliner are almost unrecognizable with the tomboy kids I screamed at the playground with years before.




-tick Tock-

6:30 am

With the wave of a stick, the music begins and before my mind can agree, my feet lead me out, including me in the 476 kid procession into the world of taxes, reunions and responsibility.

7:00 am

Speeches come and go, parents cry and cheer, and in a daze I throw my cap to the wind, giving the world my four years. Floating with my feet above me, I smile at my childhood, high school and the nerves I harbored for the exciting new world I have yet to discover in Bloomington – Normal.

Shaped by the white concrete walls and hundreds of friendships, I found myself. I’m writing this for you, undergrads, for the kid I once was. Look around you, because one day you will open your eyes and see that your friends will change, your environment will change, and you, yes, you will change. Cherish the dumb assignments, the petty drama, and the uncontrollable laughter, because high school flies by faster than any ball I didn’t catch at the gym. Class, congratulations. We did it. Though our beginnings end an era, I can promise you, the best is yet to come.

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