There is a time and a place for every goodbye


Jadelin Hinkel

I am thankful for everything that has made my past amazing and looking forward to what my next step will bring me.

I’ve always been one to believe that everything happens for a reason and that there is a right time for everything, including when to move on to the next adventure in life. And the current wild adventure that’s soon coming to an end, high school, has been one that has at times dragged by with crippling agony, yet has flown by faster than I would have imagined. 

They aren’t kidding when they say that high school will be the fastest four years of your life. But, when I think of all that I accomplished and have gotten to experience in those four years, I am grateful. Each instance, hardship, struggle, success, failure, and celebration has brought me here today, and, evidently, I have survived and thrived. As Mrs. Penninga’s turtle metaphor would demonstrate, I am the turtle still hanging on at the top of the branch, not the one diving into the water quite yet, soaking in my last moments. 

I credit my motivation to take the Writing for Publication class to Lauren Batterbee, which is incredibly ironic because, in the two years that I have taken this class, she has not physically been in the class. But luckily, she knows me incredibly well, and so she definitely knew what she was doing when she practically begged me to join the class. 

Yes, I would have loved it if she got to join me and all the other writers in room 139/140 each day in sixth hour, but I’m still thankful we can at least have the idea of being in the class together, and thank you, Lauren, for convincing me to be a part of this amazing news site–”the best news site in the state of Michigan.” 

Reflecting on the stories I have written since November 2020, I can see that I have written about numerous amounts of my favorite moments in my life and a whole bunch of people that I love. I’ve written about everything from my insanely adorable puppy to my favorite type of weather–thunderstorms. I also used that same thunderstorm column in the essay that I sent to the colleges I applied to. That column played a large role in what college I’d be spending my next four years at. 

My words do seem to come full circle. That thunderstorm column also inspired the senior quote that will forever hold a place in the 2021-2022 yearbook, typed right underneath my smiling face in my senior picture taking place in a field of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers.  

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.

91 stories and two years later, I am incredibly proud of both the growth of my writing and my growth of people skills. 

I wasn’t fully warned about how much interviewing and talking to people this class would entail–my timid 2020 self was thinking it would be a more creative writing class. But now, looking back, that is one of my favorite aspects of this class. I got forced out of my comfort zone, but I can admit that that was entirely what I needed to help myself grow. It was a really rewarding process as I saw myself grow more confident talking to complete strangers, students I’ve never spoken to before, and even adults who I was sure expected a lot from me. 

Though goodbyes are never easy, I really am not going far from this place. In a short, 45-minute drive, I can be back in this classroom saying hello to my favorite underclassmen and can catch up on what their years at FHC are bringing them. 

But, there is a time and place for every goodbye, and though some goodbyes might not be forever, each one opens a new chapter in my life that I am walking into with a smile on my face.

This class–and high school in general–has given me all the tools, tricks, tips, and encouragement I need to move on to my next chapter in life. I’ll soon be the turtle in the water, swimming off to my next branch to soak up a new type of sunshine once again.