When I was a senior in high school, I began thinking about a lot of things. Where I was going to school, what I wanted to do with my life, and what college would be like. My days were also filled with looking back at old pictures, really looking at my school for the first time (the halls, the details, the stuff you always overlook), and trying to fit in those last few girl's nights and parties with my friends. I looked back on all the memories I had and almost shed a tear. Is this really it? This is all I've known for the past four years. These are the people I've been around since 6th grade when I moved here. All of that was about to change. I really did think I was going to miss it.

Boy, was I wrong. High school is such a closed-minded prison. A place where if you don't go to this party, or dress a certain way, or hang out with a certain group, you're not "cool." Since graduating, I've realized that the standard of "cool" that seemed so important back then is highly overrated. There is a whole world out there full of possibilities and open-mindedness. You can dress whatever style you want, be friends with whoever you want, and participate in what makes you happy, and you are considered cool for being you. There is no being left out by people outside of that world. There are no cliques or popular groups. There is acceptance in different circles, appreciation for talents, and a place for everyone to fit. There are no mean girls who tear you down for the fun of it, start rumors about you to destroy your reputation, or seclude you from anything to do with the bigger group. Those girls are the ones now at the bottom of the totem pole. They are the ones getting left behind because there are too stuck in their childish, hurtful ways to ever become something.

So, no. I don't miss high school. I don't miss the drama, the cliques, the close-mindedness, or the bullying. From now on, I will be my own person. I do not need the acceptance of those people. I don't need the drama or the negativity. I don't need them to seclude me or tear me down. I am independent of that life. So goodbye high school, hello new world.