Today, I took my little brother to his freshman orientation at the high school I graduated from in 2017. The experience triggered sensations of nostalgia, anxiety, and satisfaction all at once. Although I could rattle off plenty of prose about this experience, the basic thoughts I had hardly need such an introduction:
“Oh gosh, please don’t mistake me for a student.”
Spoiler alert: people did. As I left one of my brother's classrooms, the teacher hollered, "see y'all in class!" I should've just carried around my diploma like a handbag.
“Okay, they did not have all this stuff when I was here.”
Somehow, I found myself marvelling at the new decor, technology, and architecture found in some parts of my school.
“Who even are these people?”
The teachers are new, the students are babies, and the community as a whole feels slightly foreign.
“Was it always this warm in here, or am I just anxious to be back?”
It could also be that 3,500 students are crammed like sardines into a tiny building from the seventies.
“I’m so different now, aren’t I?”
I won't speak for everyone, but I know I've grown, changed, and become more confident in my individuality since high school. Thank goodness.
“I secretly love this place, but college is infinitely better.”
For better or worse, I'll always be grateful for my high school experience. After all, the highs and lows of it prepared me to take on bigger and better things.