"I'm ready to graduate." That was the first thing I told my mom when she dropped my older brother and me off at school on the first day. I hadn't even made it through the door and I was already over being there. My brother was supposed to wait for me to open my locker so I could wait with him until my best friend showed up, but he didn't — he left me alone in the hallway and I had no idea where to go or what to do. I was just counting down the days until graduation.
Sophomore year was a little different. I was in color guard and was more involved with the choir and my community service activities. I became close to a lot of teachers and prepared to be left alone at the school because my brother was graduating high school that year, but I was okay. I was still ready to graduate.
Junior year was a blur. I always joke and say, "I lived junior year on a high because I remember nothing." I don't remember anything other than football and work. If I wasn't waitressing tables, I was cheering on the Bulldogs and if I wasn't cheering, I was working. My grades managed to stay up even though my mind was lost in the clouds. I was pressured into thinking about my future, but I just wanted to live in the moment and enjoy the life I was given. I guess you could say I became in tune with myself that year.
Senior year. The homestretch. Graduation. That's all I could think about. I remember driving to school and getting out of the car and saying, "I'm ready to go. It's time to leave. I've served my time, now let me out." I've said a lot of things in my life and I don't regret them, but I regret rushing graduation. I knew I was going to cry at points throughout the year because I'm sensitive like that, but I didn't expect to cry as much as I did.
Last band contest, I cried. Last football game, I cried for days. Last Anchor Club meeting, I cried. I got my yearbook; I cried. I got my cap and gown, I cried. I went to senior parties, I cried. The moment I moved my tassel, I cried. I cried so much throughout the year. I didn't know if I was ready to leave high school. I didn't know who I was without high school. People told me to enjoy it, but I didn't listen because I was ready to graduate. A year later, I'm missing walking down the halls more than ever. I miss going to the chorus. I miss sitting on the steps every morning with my best friends waiting for the 7:45 bell to ring to get to class. I miss football. I miss the color guard.
I miss it all.
I told myself that when I get to college, I'd be alright. It's a new start where nobody knows my name and I can make something out of myself here. I can leave my mark just like I did in high school and I've done that so far. I've met people who've impacted my life in more ways than one, come in contact with some professors who make me want to risk it all and go back to high school, and joined some fantastic organizations that have only enhanced my love for giving back.
I'm still learning who I am and what it is I need to do at college because I've not got the slightest clue. I had everything figured out in high school, but that journey ended a year ago — it's time to start a new adventure to reach a new destination.