Reliving forgotten connections and relationships of the Class of 2017

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I want to say thank you to whoever was in charge for giving me the one job of our print edition that I said I wanted nothing to do with. I specifically said, “I want nothing to do with this.”  

You see, I was put in charge of “The Web” for the Senior Edition- a page that depicts the web which connects a student to other students in any way- and I hated it. I was horrified when I realized that I had to create this page. I wanted to fight and argue my entire way out of having to take this immense amount of work on top of a pile of other crap that I needed to do. But, I couldn’t. I wasn’t able to get out of it.

So, I planned an entire month’s work into three weeks and completely tackled the pile of work. I interviewed people during my sixth hour, transcribed the interviews at home, and created a list of people to go interview the next day. It was a continuous cycle of running around and tracking people down to only have them say, “sorry, I can’t think of anything” or “wait… what am I supposed to say?” At that point, I wanted to give up. But, I didn’t. I kept going, interviewing people and trying to discover these connections that had been forgotten.

Then, it happened. I started to get somewhere with these interviews. I began getting people to remember friendships and sports played that had been buried deep within their past. The students started to reminisce their past with faint smiles and giggles, thinking of the ridiculous things that were said or done with their classmates. It was stunning to see the happiness that spread across the faces as they relived their memories. It was shocking to hear about certain friendships and where they are now, sports gave up, distances created, or simply, the nonexistence of where we were then and how we got where we are now.

And I realized that time is no longer here, meaning that the Class of 2017 only has a few more months to be just that– the Class of 2017.”

Creating the web gave me an insight into the Class of 2017, the students’ childhoods, relationships, connections, and memories that I had no idea even existed. It reminded me of where we were just twelve years ago and where we are now. And I realized that time is no longer here, meaning that the Class of 2017 only has a few more months to be just that– the Class of 2017.

Along with this realization, I came to the conclusion that I have spent the last twelve years of my life with the same group of (about) 300 students. The recognizable faces and names bring comfort, smothering the anxiety, nervousness, or loneliness that I feel. However, with growing up and years passing by, so have our connections. Relationships have diminished; faces have disappeared. We may have grown apart from our Pine Ridge or Thornapple days. However, the days that we spent together in our younger years will never be forgotten, only remembered as the ropes that tie us all together. We may have grown apart, ready for the next steps in our lives, but those ropes are still there connecting us all. It bridges the gap that has been created through the years. We were each other’s childhood and high school classmates, firsts and lasts, all encountering the same experiences.

So, thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discover the “ropes” of this graduating class before we leave. We will forever be tied together, whether we like it or not.

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