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School-lovers anonymous

By Alex Harring, Managing Editor

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When Rachel Berry said, “How lucky am I to have something so hard to say goodbye too?” as she graduated in “Glee,” I didn’t truly understand how she felt.

Yes, I could watch the parting of ways at high school graduation. I could see the emotion glaring from the Netflix app on my iPhone. But, until you’ve experienced it yourself, it is difficult to understand the true feeling of saying goodbye.

This is a constant feeling for high school seniors. I am no different. In September, I had my last first day. In October, I watched my last homecoming pep rally as a Student Association member. Last month, I had my final soccer banquet. And just last week, I sang “Merry Christmas with Love” in my final holiday concert.

But with these chapters ending and each door closing, I am not as excited for the future as I expected myself to be when I was an underclassmen. I am not anxiously anticipating college. I am not suffering from “senioritis” and skipping class so much that my mom has the attendance line on speed dial. There’s no sleeping in, blatantly disregarding homework assignments, or putting on a too-cool-for-school facade.

As my last holiday break approaches, I have come to one simple answer for this empty feeling: I like school. It’s an unpopular opinion among kids my age, a taboo for today’s technology-obsessed, Starbucks-loving high schoolers. But I think deep down, many of my peers would agree.

Welcome to school-lovers anonymous. The only rule: what happens here, stays here. Now, I’ll share my story.

I, just like every other Lululemon-sporting, parka-doning student here, hated high school at one point. I shuffled through school with a face that screamed unamusement. I harshly lacked school spirit. Netflix took precedence over school events. In short, the fear of missing out did not apply.

This was surprising to my parents, because I loved school when I was younger. It’s true that people grow out of things, but I didn’t just love school, I loved school — an asked-my-parents-for-a-whiteboard-for-Christmas level of affection.

So high school was not my cup of tea, for the most part. I can’t really pinpoint what I hated so much about it. Reflecting on it, I think it was hormonal.

But now, an older, wiser Alex knows better. I now realize that what makes school so special are the things I never took much stock in before. It wasn’t until my last high school soccer game, or my last homecoming dance, that I really understood what I was leaving behind.

As I finish my last weeks of my final first semester, do my last Adopt-a-Family delivery and have my last holiday brunch with friends, I refuse to be upset.  No, I am not very excited for college or moving away or having to make new friends, but this can’t taint the time that is left.

I think — and hope — that this feeling of nostalgia for the present is actually good. In a way, it validates the decisions I have made regarding who to surround myself with and what activities to fill my time with. But I will not let myself become sad over it.

Although they were great, these are not going to be the best four years of my life. School will always be my first love, but I will learn to love something else, and carry the memories and lessons learned with me forever.

Meeting adjourned.

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