I graduated last night. I don’t feel any different. (Am I supposed to?) The only thing that I feel is relief. I am so happy that I don’t have to see so many of those people ever again. Most of them are the reason that I hated high school. While I will miss a lot of the underclassmen, just as I missed the friends who graduated before me, I only be missing a few people from my own class. As freshmen, many older students told me that my class was extremely “cliquey.” It was then that I realized that I had only been exposed to one group of people my whole life. I realized that not everyone was as judgmental as the people I had always been in classes with. That year I made friends with many of the older students and left my class in the dust. The next year, I made friends with the new freshmen, just as I did the next year, and the next year. All through high school I only kept one friend from own grade. While I made some friends in my year, and lost some, only one was always there. Most other people saw her as immature and annoying, and, I can’t lie to myself, it’s true. She is a little immature sometimes, and she is very excitable, but she’s a good friend and she has always been there. We are going to different colleges next year and I hope our friendship stays as strong as it has been since third grade.
To get back on topic, the biggest lesson I have learned in high school is that everyone is different. Just because they dress one way, or play a certain sport, doesn’t mean they can’t be a good friend. Another thing I learned is that age doesn’t matter. Anyone can be a friend to anyone. As a freshman, I had friends who were seniors, and even some in college. And now, as a senior, a graduate actually, I have friends that are freshmen. Although it’s only a 3 year difference, it’s all that high school students are exposed to (other than teachers). I assume that next year in college I will be expanding that age gap by a few more years.
That being said, the grade school chapter of my life is finished, but not forgotten. The life lessons learned in school will be carried on to college, then to the rest of my life. Graduating high school doesn’t automatically mature a person. A diploma is just a piece of paper. Maturity is not measured by age, but my actions and ideas. I do not feel like a different person than I did last week. I’m still the same person and I will never be finished living and learning.