In a blink of an eye, high school is over

Published 11:04 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Boom — just like that high school is over. I read a post expressing that message.

“That’s how it happens,” I said to myself. “Suddenly, it’s done and you are standing at the door of a new reality.”

There are a lot of seniors about to stand in that doorway over the next few weeks. One moment high school is your world. Whether you love it or not, it’s the place you know well. Then they hand you a diploma, and that familiar place becomes a memory.

Of course, this doesn’t hit you until some time passes. No, graduation is excitement and looking forward to possibilities. Finally, adulthood is within reach and with it the freedom that is a teenager’s dream.

I remember feeling that way as I marched out those double doors of the high school auditorium. Standing in the late spring evening, I felt a rush of anticipation at the thought of moving beyond the days of bells and study hall, lockers and lunchrooms.

What I didn’t consider was it was also the end of other things. There would be no more recess when we laughed and talked about the drama going on in our lives. Pep rallies on Friday afternoons were over. Days of seeing the faces that were part of my life since elementary school were history.

When we took off our caps and gowns, we began journeys that carried us away from each other, writing an ending to years of being a group of people known as the class of such and such a year. Again, we didn’t give this much thought as we were writing that ending.

Now, years later reading that message about the end of high school brought a rush of memories, recollections of my final days at Opp High School. There was the push to get signatures in my last yearbook. I remember tears as we hugged after class day and following Baccalaureate and graduation night.

We vowed to stay in touch, to remain a class of friends forever. Some of us saw each other from time to time, maybe in the grocery store or at some community event.

And, there were reunions when part of the class returned to visit and remember together. However, in the years since that last day as a class, we never were all together again in one place.

The internet and Facebook make it easier to rekindle friendships and catch up on where classmates live and what they are doing. It also a way to share the sadness when we hear about one of us reaching the end of his or her journey.

Still, looking at online pictures or reading email messages doesn’t replace talking face-to-face with friends. It’s not the same as looking into the eyes of someone who knew you when lost your baby teeth and then as you struggled through pimples.

Yes, for the Class of 2016 high school is almost over. Some day you will feel like BOOM it was over in the blink of an eye.

So, enjoy these last days. Look into the faces of the people who are in your class. Even the ones you don’t know well will become a memory you treasure. They are part of your history.

True, high school is often a hard and awkward time. It is a mix of fun, confusion and growing pains. And no matter what your experience during those years, happy, sad, good or bad, you remember this time in your life forever.

All of us who grabbed diplomas and stepped bravely into what lies beyond high school wish you well on your journey.

One final word from a former high school student — cherish the memories of these precious days, but don’t attempt to live in them for the rest of your lives. High school is a nice memory, but there are more memories to make beyond graduation.

So move on with courage. Grab life and run with it. We are cheering you on.


Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.