Farewell Radford High School
There’s something special about attending a small high school. Sure rumours spread fast, and before you know it, all the teachers know exactly what you did over the weekend, their pointed stares watching you walk by, but the small town provides for bonds that can’t be broken, not even by time. I’ll get to that. But speaking of time, that’s one thing you learn from high school; it goes by no matter how quickly you wish it away, or how closely you grasp for it. I remember in September I began to ask my classmates the status on our famous countdown, or how many more days until June 2nd. They would reply some ridiculously high number, and I would groan in return and attempt to study for the Biology test I didn’t want to focus on.
That number, it gave me relief in the second I asked. I would know, one day we’re out of here. I counted down with my classmates when the days turned from triple digits to double, and I watched as each of us got those fateful letters from the institutions that lurked so far away, so long ago. I watched as we all chose the place we wanted to spend the next two or four years, and I cried with those who received rejections from their favorite places. Heck, I was among the criers.
The counselors prepare you for those rejections by telling you to apply to backups; they prepare you for the senioritis that’s bound to hit most about mid- January, or for some early September, and they prepare you for the AP exams that leave us exhausted beyond words. They don’t prepare us for saying goodbye. They don’t prepare us for that feeling that’s probably hitting your stomach right about now, as the countdown ticks by, as you take your last Biology quiz, or turn in your final essay for English. Maybe it’ll hit you the way it hit me: suddenly when I heard a certain song at a certain time. I broke down. It suddenly became clear to me that next year, I wasn’t going to meet Sarah everyday after class, or I wasn’t going to laugh with Connor Shaffer at Scholastic Bowl. There’s no more laughing with Jack anymore. I’m not going to be with the same people I’ve been with since I was four anymore.
That’s what special about attending a small high school. Sometimes it may really, really stink, like when you’re looking for someone new to perhaps be involved with, and all you see are the same boys you wiped snot with back in Mrs. Ellerman’s class. However, I wouldn’t trade the bonds I’ve formed with this group of misfits for anything. I won’t forget in the second grade when Matthew Rehak tied my shoelaces together, and I had to pull a yellow card. Or when Raegan Joyce, Sarah Kern, and I wrote a book together in the sixth grade. I remember Connor Murphy teaching me the wonders of Elvis Presley in third grade when I told him the Beatles were better. I remember Dorian Moore and I being the only kids in Ms. Lane’s fourth grade class to like Obama like it was yesterday.
I have so many memories like those because we’ve all grown up together. This small, wonderful, occasionally terribly boring, town has made that possible. To watch those same kids who taught me how to jump rope, or who I was a Safety Patrol with, or the kids I fought with in middle school grow up is inexpiable. I won’t try to explain that golden feeling that compares to stargazing, or swinging on a swing at Bisset Park one last time, or seeing Mr. Green and him saying your name like you’re seven again in your new Mary Janes, or sticking your head out the roof of your best friend’s car to the tune of that song that reminds you of home. I won’t try to explain, because I think you all know what feeling I’m describing. You were all there.
So I encourage you all to look at your best friend you’ve known since you were three, and hug them like nothing will ever be the same again. Because let’s face it, it won’t. But that’s okay. Because while we will always have these golden tinted moments together, we will have to say goodbye at some point. And while I wasn’t prepared in the slightest,
Goodbye my darling Class of 2017. I love you and always will.