An Elevator Ride to Remember


I remember my first time sneaking onto the elevator. I remember the rush I felt as I furiously pressed the button for floor two, praying that a teacher wouldn’t emerge from the swarm of kids in the hallway as my heart furiously pounded in my chest watching the doors close on me.

I remember my first time pulling an all-nighter in preparation for a big test, watching the sunrise as my eyes began to droop. This was also the first time I found out that sleep is much more important than studying sometimes as I fought sleep the entire test.

I remember the first time I used Mr. George’s back desk as a locker. I don’t remember why I began doing it, but for the next four years, I kept everything from my jacket to a bag stuffed with Russian fur hats, an American Girl doll, and snowball cookies there.

I knew the day would come when my desk would be moved, when I no longer felt the rush of taking the elevator, when I finally stopped procrastinating and became smart enough to study ahead. What I didn’t expect was how fast it would all happen.

Right in front of my eyes, the world around me is changing. It feels like the universe is pushing me out of my little sphere called high school that I’ve been in for four years, and out of the Forest Hills District I’ve been in my whole entire life. My desk has been moved, and all of my stuff hidden in it now ways impatiently in the lost and found for me to reclaim them and take them home.

It feels like one event after another has been nudging me towards the final realization that I have two more days here, and I’ve finished everything that I came to high school to accomplish. There’s a knot in my stomach, a nervous, excited, bored, and clingy one that can’t seem to untie itself. People are smiling at me that haven’t talked to me in years, and I’ve been doing the same. The knot is making me do things I never expected I would do, it’s trying to hold on but also pushing me in a different direction.

People are asking me simple questions that I would’ve had a definite answer to in the past that are now difficult to answer. “Are you excited to leave?” “Will you miss this place?” “Will you ever come back to this place?” Well, do you have an hour to hear my response? Because there are a million emotions and thoughts I would need to explain to you to give you an accurate answer.

I watched a freshmen try to convince another freshmen to take the elevator with them for the first time this morning. Right before me, I saw the doors close and worry flash into their eyes. It felt like a million years ago since that was me, it was a strange thing to see. That freshman was me, the freshmen that had no other worries on their mind but to have the doors close before a teacher saw them. Looking back at it, the anxiety I had felt seems ridiculous compared to the obstacles that I face in the future, but I think it just shows the amount that I’ve grown in my years at this school. I’m finally ready to face the world, the doors are shutting on high school and I’m pressing the button to send me somewhere completely different. I don’t know what I’ll face when the doors finally open, but it isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way and I’m not afraid of what lies ahead.