This isn’t goodbye


Ellie Mcdowell

Approximately 15 days until this cap and gown, and the dress underneath, marks my final outfit as a student at FHC.

44 stories later and this is the one that I have been both awaiting and dreading. This one is the one where I officially say goodbye.

Goodbye to the girl I’ve always been. The one who has found safety between the four walls of her bedroom. The one who has found hope in the words she writes and the stories she tells—the one who has been looking forward to this moment for years.

Goodbye to the people who have taught me who I am. Goodbye to Noah, who has teased me like I’m his little sister for the last year. Goodbye to Riley, who has stood by my side for everything I’ve needed, and who I have already said goodbye to once before. To Kyle, who has loved me and put up with all kinds of crap he didn’t have to from me, and never once wavered. Goodbye to Alex, who has made random trips in the car more interesting.

Goodbye to my little sisters. Goodbye to Megan who has made me laugh daily, even when I’m mad at her and don’t want her to talk to me. Goodbye to Addie, who sometimes copies me a little more than I would like, but nonetheless makes sure I go to Meijer or Target nearly every week.

Goodbye to my teachers. Goodbye to Mr. George, who has been one of my favorite teachers for the last three years. Goodbye to Mr. Carhart, who gave me my best friends. Goodbye to Mr. Fisher, who gives me the benefit of the doubt every time, even though sometimes I don’t deserve it. Goodbye to Mrs. Felton who, even though I never had her class, has always been a teacher I know I can go to. Goodbye to Mrs. Z, whose room and class have never failed to be one of my favorites.

Goodbye to the clarinet section, who has been my family. To Sydney, who has made it four years with me. To Millie, who will be an amazing leader next year, and is an amazing musician. To Kendall and Anneke, who have grown so much and I am so proud of. To Lili, Audrey, Rowan, Julian, and Jo Marie who have become great marchers and even better musicians.

See you later FHC, Ellie McDowell

Goodbye to Room 139/140, which has housed so many tears and laughs. So much ranting and singing occurred in that room. So many things from all of my classes in that room have caused stress, but I have loved every second.

Goodbye to FHC. Four years ago I was a scared little freshman who walked through the front doors of the school I will spend only a matter of days in for the rest of my life. Thank you, FHC, for helping me grow.

I suck at goodbyes. I have never been good at them, and I don’t know that I ever will be. To me, goodbye means forgetting. So to all the people I have to say goodbye to, I refuse.

Instead, I choose “see you later,” because that doesn’t mean forgetting, it just means I have to go for now.

See you later FHC,

Ellie McDowell