When people ask if you feel any different on your birthday, you could respond in multiple ways. You could tell them that you do, that the new year (which in reality, is just another day) feels different, that you feel older somehow. In your heart, however, you probably don’t feel over a day different. Getting asked that about being a senior, though, I can truthfully respond that as the year has progressed, I’ve felt different. A change is coming, one bigger than any new year of my life has ever brought about. I’m terrified and simultaneously excited, and with every last day I spend in high school, I’m torn between restlessness to get out and sadness to leave everything I’ve ever known.
I didn’t know what to write for a farewell to my fellow seniors, because quite honestly, you could think everything that there is to be said has already been spoken on. All of the cliches are true; you’ll start to appreciate what you’ve been taught and given at your school, you’ll grow closer to more classmates, and you’ll be faced with making the biggest and most important decision you’ve ever had to make. No matter where you end up, it will be new, somewhere different, without all of the comfortable situations, places, and people you’ve been thrown together with in the years leading up to now.
As I fly back home from spring break and the pilot announces that we’ve reached cruising altitude, I look down and see all of the places that the class of 2016 might end up. Spending spring break with a large amount of other seniors, I found out that I’m not the only one that’s terrified of leaving, whether it’s to a college fifteen minutes from home or to another country. We’ve been thrown together by fate to spend this last year together, and that is the singular thing we all have in common, and it may seem small, but it’s the biggest tool you can use to make your life from here on out exactly what you want it to be. I’ve had phenomenal teachers who’ve taught me not only things in a textbook but life lessons, who’ve been there for me through whatever I’ve needed help with. I’ve had students I barely know calm me down while having panic attacks in the hallways or while I’m bawling in the bathroom.
What I ask from you, seniors of my class and future classes, is that you make the most of the things that have been handed to you, whether it has been easily or through hardships. I know each and every one of you has enough talent and opportunity to pop the Forest Hills bubble and enter the real world, and finally, to find success there. I think of all the things older students have told me about making the most of being a student at Central, and how I used to laugh. Now, I’m the serious one. This is almost definitely a goodbye from me to you. I may never see you again, and I definitely will not pass by your face daily in the hallways on my way to class. This is goodbye, and I wish it weren’t so, but I know that we’re all ready to leave, and the world is ready to have us. Good luck with everything you do, and I love you all.