I’m officially done with high school—went through commencement this morning, and checked out last week. I look back to the past four years and see that this most recent parting is, in truth, bittersweet.
It’s been a blast. I discovered new interests in high school, adding to my core of science, math and engineering a love of debate, literature, and music. I explored some new places, met some new people, and learned some new things. But high school’s not just academic, and my time at Lynbrook hasn’t been either.
I’ve experienced happiness and depression, tears and joy. I’ve built long-lasting friendships, and drifted apart from some of the people I was once close to.
I’ve achieved success, in academics, Scouting, debate, robotics and more. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that I survived all of these pressures to make it through to today.
I’ve been through failure and disappointment, from faltering friendships to academic hardship to the death of those close to me. I’m not sure what kept me going, but I’m glad that it worked.
In a few very short months, I’ll be walking onto the campus of Columbia University, part of the incoming Class of 2016. It’s a new identity, one so distinctly different than the Lynbrook Class of 2012. I won’t be able to joke about how we graduated before the end of the world with them, nor assume that they know of and understand those special moments that we experienced as a class:
- that winning homecoming performance in both 2010 (as sophomores!) and in 2012 (the Seniors Strike Back)
- the first football win that Lynbrook’s seen in eighteen years
- a Junior Prom not held in the gym
- an epic Senior Ball, complete with blurry pictures and a universal class hatred towards Genesis Photography
- crazy nights, staying up and studying for our ever-increasing loads of AP classes and procrastinating together on the senior research paper
- graduating on the brand-new football stadium (not like we really care about football, but hey)
- Getting recognized as an Intel School of Distinction
- and so much more that I can’t even list them all out
Most of all, I’ll be leaving Lynbrook behind, and with it all of the friends I’ve made, the clubs I’ve invested so much time and effort in, the teachers that helped shape the foundations of my thought processes and knowledge. I’ll miss those frantic nights in the hotel room, building the last pieces of the robot in preparation for competition the following morning. I’ll miss my parli novices, who I watched develop their skills and unlock a hidden talent for speech and debate. I’ll miss the somewhat sketchy Science Olympiad prebuild sessions, and the experience of the Synopsys Science Fair.
I have some regrets—things that I wanted to do but was never able to. I never managed to really overcome those social barriers that kept me from making more friends. I’d hoped that high school would be a fresh start from middle school, whereupon I could break out of my shell and learn to be someone new. And, to some extent, that’s true—though not nearly as much as I’d once expected. It was hard for me to make new friends—still is, really—and so I found myself with only a few close friends and a number of acquaintances that I could wave hello to every once in a while. I learned, through high school, that life isn’t easy; that social relationships aren’t simple favors to be bought and sold. And in doing so, I’ve learned to treasure what I already have.
We’ve watched Lynbrook change, present as we were through the long process of finding an administration who truly understands and emphasizes with the school. We’ve been screwed by admin once or twice, and At some points, we might have had to work against the school to get what we wanted—but at long last, Lynbrook’s become the place which we never really want to leave. For all that we valued our grades, we always helped one another and applauded others’ success as our own. Competition, though sometimes cutthroat, never came in front of those relationships that formed the fundamental core of our Lynbrook experience.
In truth, I’ll miss everything—both the good and the bad. You see, Lynbrook’s a part of me now. It’s been part of me for the past four years, shaping my life and driving me forward into the future. We’re a bit of a weird school—but we bear that weirdness with pride. Sure, we might not have as many AP classes as we might have wanted. Maybe we couldn’t play that final Senior Prank, and the administration’s a bit stricter than most. We’re going to different places, across the country and across the world. We’ll make new friends, and possibly enemies; develop new interests and settle into collegiate life.
But we’ll never forget each other. A part of us will always be a reflection of the Viking spirit, guiding our thoughts and providing a sense of stability and direction into the future.
And so I end my musings. It is the end of our final chapter of our childhood, and the beginning of our lives as adults. Carpe diem, Class of 2012. I’ll see you around.