This is the end. Soon we will all be sitting on the field we have watched our football boys play on countless Friday nights. Soon we will hear those who have been teaching us the past four years call our peers’ names, our best friends’ names, our name. Soon we will get up and walk across stage while our families yell and cheer. And soon can’t come soon enough.
You will listen to the crowd’s muffled voices. You will stare off across the sea of crimson caps. You will feel the energy running through the stadium as you are handed your diploma, the last paper handout you are ever going to receive in high school.
All this sounds absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to leave. I can’t wait to find myself in a new city, surrounded by new people, learning, growing. While that is what I ultimately want, I need to remind myself, and probably you all too, that we are here in large part due to our hard work and effort, but also due to the fact that for the larger part of the last four years, these teachers, these administrators, these parents, have always been here to help.
Yes, we will be leaving this place. Yes, we probably won’t want to turn around and come back anytime soon, but please try to keep in mind that all these wonderful people in our town will always be here to help and support us.
Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.
I couldn’t wait for this moment to happen, and now that it’s actually here I don’t know what to say to you all. I can talk about how much I’ve changed, all the things I’ve learned, all the bridges I’ve built and burned, and how PRHS is home for me.While all of these things are reasonable, it’s not what I want to sign off with.
I do want to sign off with words about the unexpected. What I had planned for after high school isn’t going to happen right away. It’s not a bad thing, it was just something that I never thought would be an option for me. My high school career is something unexpected, and a lot of you can relate to it. I didn’t expect to lose certain friends or be friends with certain people. I didn’t see myself being apart of journalism till someone told me I should take it, nor being one of the Editor-in-Chiefs.
Journalism has been one of the best surprises in my life. I got to tell other people’s stories and capture some of their favorite moments. This paper means a lot to me since I’ve dedicated so much time to it, more than my parents would like, but this paper is a part of me.
So what I want to say is live for the unexpected because you never know what blessing can come out of it and that’s what I plan on doing. Don’t take the unexpected as a dread because something truly great can come out of it
Four years ago, the graduating class of 2016 wrote our names down on a banner in a pledge to graduate. Well, the school lost our banner (I’m still not sure how you lose a banner) but we still made it. Four years… It doesn’t seem that long until you realize that all of the miserable Monday mornings and the rowdy Friday nights are over. Done. Finished and finalized, and our education is coming to an abrupt halt.
Of course, there will be college and our futures. We’ll have more Mondays and late nights, and stress, but we’ll never have another moment as a high school student. Once we walk across that stage, it’s over. There is no going back.
For some of us that is a welcome end and a new beginning, but for others it the snap of the final thread that connected us with our childhoods, with the “Up next on Disney channel,” and the Kim Possible movie, and that weird phase in seventh grade when silly bandz were so cool that even Shakira wore them.
So we can cry, and live it up in equal measures, because we’re only going to be here in this moment once, but I urge you, class of 2016, don’t let who you are in high school define you forever. If you are proud of the last four years, great, push yourself to do even better and soar to new heights. If not, tomorrow is another day; start afresh and become the person you couldn’t be yesterday.
For those of you who know me well, you know that I’m an emotional mess and am struggling to hold back tears as I think of how to say good bye. I think I would like to say thank you. Thank you all for being the best audience and biggest supporters of Crimson. Thank you for letting me tell the stories of stellar athletes, dying wishes come true, my favorite teachers, and some of the most absolutely amazing people I have ever met. Thank you for letting me grow as a photographer and capture memorial celebrations at a volleyball game, players wrestling on the floor at a basketball game, and that perfect home run swing at a baseball game.
To everyone I’ve ever written about, thank you for being the coolest subjects ever and making my job easy and so so fun. And finally, thank you to my lovely Journafamily, Mr. Mount, Ms. Hawley, and my fellow leaders. Although sometimes we want to throw things at each other, you have all made my time at Crimson the most memorable three years I could ever imagine, and I could never thank you enough. Congratulations Class of 2016. Always have faith in yourself.