So you may remember that back in April, I wrote a post aimed at my fellow bloggers who either just graduated or will soon graduate from secondary school. (For American teens, this means they just finished their senior year of high school. In other countries… well, it varies.) I was looking for people who would be interested in writing collab posts about their school/graduation experiences.
And today, I’m publishing the second post in that four-part series! You can find part one here, if you’re interested.
I did a little introduction for each blogger last time, so I’ll do that again. Ummm… OK, so, Clarice? I actually don’t know her super well BUT whenever we do manage to comment on one another’s blogs, it always makes me feel happy. CLEARLY I NEED TO REMEMBER TO VISIT YOUR BLOG MORE OFTEN.
And then there’s Micha – geeky, enthusiastic, adorkable, talented, sweet, A GINORMOUS NERD, et cetera. They’re part science fiction and part science fact, basically.
And quite possibly a dinosaur. Like, the cool kind with FEATHERS.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough. Enjoy!
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Future Plans: Heading to NYU in New York City to study biology
The People Made It All Worth It
Senior year of high school was pretty wildly up and down for me – I’d finally gotten to the point where I had some amazing friendships and really meaningful involvement in activities, but at the same time I was incredibly stressed by a combination of academic demands, college applications, the associated inevitable rejections, and an overall less-than ideal mental health situation.
While I slogged through the less-awesome parts with, I guess, relative success, the people were honestly what made it all worth it. At the end of the day (or school year, as it were) I think I’m going to move on to bigger and better things.
And as the things that drove me up the wall in high school get less and less important in the wake of my accomplishing things in spite of them, it’s the hanging out in rad used bookstores and late-night conversations on orchestra retreats, that one time we held a lightsaber battle in Calculus, and off-key sing-alongs to “Uptown Funk” (hot damn!) on the way to speech tournaments in the team van that are going to end up sticking with me longer than anything.
Spreading My Wings
I am incredibly excited for college, mostly because of the number of new opportunities I’m going to have as a result. Moving all the way to the East Coast is a big change, but it gives me some space from my family to really start to spread my wings and explore the things I’m interested in. I’ve loved biology ever since I was tiny – it’s far and away my favorite subject, and I’d love to be a professor or work at a museum and write books about it someday – so there’s something kinda special about heading off, on my own, to really dive into the field.
Not to mention, I’m hoping to get involved in more queer activism and organizations once I leave. I’ve been more than a bit repressed, living under the shadow of my decidedly conservative parents, but pretty soon I’ll be pretty far away from them… and instead about six minutes away from the Stonewall Inn.
I’m also hoping to maybe try out for a walk-on spot on the NYU fencing team at some point, and am almost definitely going to end up studying abroad. (It’s actually a requirement for a degree from the honors college, where I’ve been accepted — involving multiple locations!)
It’s a little weird to think that, in four years’ time, if all goes to plan, I’ll have learned so much, lived in one of the biggest cities in the world, studied in three other countries, and probably have discovered even more about myself than I did in high school. But I guess when it comes down to it, it’s just another step to take – once it’s over I’ll be prepping for round two, working on grad school applications and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life for real. And while that’s scary in a lot of ways…. it’s still pretty exciting.
Future Plans: Help people, work hard, and not let expectations get in the way of happiness or success.
Lessons from the Last Year of School
- Never accept a position in which you have all the knowledge and work but none of the power/credit.
- Always, always, always speak up.
- I’m a lot more passionate about social commentary than I thought I was.
- You can like someone a lot and still not want to be friends with them anymore. Trust is everything.
- You can wish someone the best and still hope they never come near you (or your sister) ever again.
- People can string lovely words around and break them with the slightest ease. (Be careful!)
- You don’t have to be super-excited/inspired all the time. What matters most is that the work you do means something to you.
- Life doesn’t always turn out how you planned, and that’s okay. (More than okay!)
As you can probably guess from my statement above, I’m not quite sure what the future brings. I’m just promising myself to do what I believe in. To show how I’m generally feeling, though, here’s a stream-of-thought poem I made after the last day of exams:
It’s like the whole world is opening up
Like coming home after a long, hard day, but
You don’t want to stop working
Because what you do from now on
What happens here on out
Is yours, your choice
You’re done with everything
And school, with all its gifts and flaws
Its good times and bad
(Thank God!) (Oh, God.)
You remember, however important it is
It was only ever a preparation for now
Now, the whole world is asking –
What are you going to do?
What do you want to do?
What are you meant to do?
Right now, it’s like being a newborn
Crawling out of a cracked egg shell
Looking out at the universe while sunlight caresses your face
And searching for an answer
Has anyone here recently graduated? Or will you do so quite soon – midway through the year, perhaps, or next summer? If you’ve already graduated, what was your favorite part of finally finishing school? And is there any advice you’d like to give to Micha and Clarice?!