Although I like to try to avoid getting super emotionally invested in anything that’s too popular, I have to admit that finishing high school is worth noting. It’s kind of a big deal to leave the group of people, environment, and sense of security that’s been all of my conscious life in the making. To me, the unknown ahead isn’t nearly as frightening1 as the thought of the past becoming unknown, that is, losing track of the things that matter to me in this moment. So now, I’m going to take some preemptive action against forgetfulness. Here’s a little list of things I want to remember.
1. The joy of giving something my all… and then moving on. As an eighth grader, I remember hearing that members of the high school robotics team stayed at school every day until 6 pm working, and I was sure I would never join… until I did. And then a particularly awesome person convinced me to spend at least a hundred hours of my life memorizing insect orders and families. And then I randomly went to Louisville, Kentucky for a week to do a bit of math and stand in front of a booth. Extracurriculars consumed my life until my senior year, when I was forced (for a variety of reasons) to give them all up. Needless to say, I was extremely torn up about it, but I learned a pretty important lesson about priorities and will always be thankful for the experiences I had in those clubs and the amazing people in them.
2. The linalg struggle. I’ve made some mistakes in my academic history, but none so grave as thinking I was prepared to take an honors math class at A&M (especially during the spring semester of senior year… seriously, what was I thinking?). It’s not really the feeling of being murked by an exam that I hope will stick with me, but my subsequent commitment to actually doing my best and being okay with the result, whatever it may turn out to be. (Also, I don’t think I’ll forget how to grind out eigenvalues for a 5×5 matrix even if I wanted to.)
3. The knowledge that I have people to fall back on. Especially a few adults. They know stuff about life. That’s pretty cool. My friends are also pretty cool. I’m bad at being publicly sentimental, sorry guys.
4. Same. Basically same.
5. Kites, praise-worthy trees, mitosis, and small metal objects. As cheesy as it always sounds, ponytail Derek was right when he said that high school really makes you find yourself. I’ve experienced a lot of amazing little things throughout high school with people I’ve really grown to care about. These memories of little adventures can be captured in photos, mementos, and even journal entries, but in the end, I’m sure most of them will still fade away. My hope is that the feelings they inspired in me will become ingrained in my person without need of special recognition, and that a small part of me will always choose to call this place and these people home.
1 My parents have told me that every summer when we went to visit the daycare or elementary school I’d be attending in the coming school year, I’d throw a fit when told that I wouldn’t actually be going to class there for a few weeks, and act in a similar vein when picked up after the first day of school. The point is, I don’t think I’m going to be too homesick.