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Farewell, Konawaena: A Letter from the Editor

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I’m proud to say that I’ve spent thirteen long years in the public education system, and an extra one added on top of that for preschool. It’s actually startling to me, honestly, seeing that graduation is actually happened. When my high school career began, the prospect of graduating in four years felt like a lot of things, but definitely not real (or possible, for some reason? What did I think would happen before I graduated?).

Commencement day felt like it could only be a dream. A thought, but never a reality. Freshman year me could never have imagined submitting my PTP, attending Senior Awards Night, or trying on that gown for the first time in the mirror. Not to mention actually walking the line or being handed my diploma. Maybe even seeing my friends for the last time.

To be frank, this all didn’t feel real until I was standing in front of the crowd of parents on Senior Awards Night. Prior to that, graduation still felt like this faraway thing, even though I was watching the days count down on the morning bulletin. Forty-three days left turned into ten days left, and then next thing I knew, we were down into the single digits. I remember looking at the calendar and thinking, “Oh, graduation is next week.” Even then, there was still no fear or excitement. Just that vague feeling of emptiness. High school didn’t look like it was ending, and it definitely didn’t feel like it was, either.

On Senior Awards Night, the first thing I got called up for was the activity pin. Once I heard my name, I was actually startled. I didn’t expect to receive anything outside of the CTE Honors certificate and cord, which I labored over during second semester. Upon arriving in front of the stage, having the pin handed to me in a little black case, and turning to see the crowd, I’ll admit this: I was flustered.

Not only was that an embarrassing experience,—having so many eyes on you—but it was also an eye-opening one. It was sort of like my… “oh, crap” moment. (My face was so incredibly warm, because of how flustered I was, but I really hope it’s not visible in the photos!)

Added onto that, the days and hours leading up to graduation felt… unusually numb. Even though I had my wake-up moment, I still didn’t have a lot of feelings. Grad practice was tedious, and tending to my sunburn was a pain. But once I looped arms with my partner and prepared to walk the line in front of a cheering crowd of families, I felt every single feeling I assume you’re supposed to feel: happiness, melancholy, glee, and so much more.

Anyway, the moral of this little story is: Even though graduation may not feel real to you yet, (maybe that’s just a “me thing”) work hard for that moment and savor all of these years that are passing you by.

Your youth is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and these kids around you, whom you grew up with and watched grow into young adults, may never be a part of your life again. We don’t appreciate these years enough. Perhaps it’s because we feel like there are better ones yet to come or because we have so much time left, but what happens when all of that is gone? What happens when we have too little time left to really make memories, and we let valuable time slip between our fingers, all because we couldn’t stop staring at the sun?

It’s not bad to daydream about a great future and keep that in your mind. After all, how can you shoot for the stars without a trajectory in mind? Your dreams should continue to be inspire you and be the fuel of your aspirations, but don’t forget that the past made you who you are, too.

On another note, thank-you for two years of companionship through friendships and the news. This school and this newspaper have meant the world to me. I’ve been a Konawaena Wildcat for most of my life, and I’m proud to bear that crest as I move on to the next phase of my life.

To this year’s journalism staff:

Cody: Thank-you for picking up the sports job we all didn’t want. (Just kidding!) It was an honor being friends with you since elementary school, and you’ve been one of the best “video games” buddies I could have. The future will bring great things for you. I hope you pursue whatever passion it is you have in life.

Maianna: This has been one interesting year, but it’s been an honor getting to know you. From broadcast to news writing, you’ve been there. I hope you find yourself in your dream school and producing Hollywood-level movies and with your name in flashing lights.

Ronald: Even through the ups and downs, thank-you for being an amazing friend and a fabulous personality. No matter how many adjectives you tack onto words and “LOL” and “OMGs” I needed to edit out of your writing, you’ve still been one of the best people I’ve met. It’s my wish for you to go down the right path and I hope that you’ll find yourself in the happiest place.

Grace: I just met you this year, but you are my favorite Class of 2019 student! (That’s just between you and me!) You’ve been a total honor to work with and talk to, and I see so many great things in your future. I really hope your dance career takes you far, and I can see you doing so many great things. Keep that smile on your face!

I’ve come to change, grow, and evolve, and I hope that you all will, too. I love you so much, and goodbye, Konawaena.

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Farewell, Konawaena: A Letter from the Editor