Stop whatever you're doing right now, whether it be homework, studying for your exams, relaxing, going on a social network or anything else. I just want you to read this letter and reflect on your memories in high school. The good, the bad, the ugly.
You did that right?
August 16th, 2013. A fourteen year old wrote a letter to herself on FutureMe.org and sent it off to the unknown future to an older version of herself. Flash forward to May 5th 2016, approximately a month before a seventeen year old senior graduates in the small country of the Bahamas. She opens her email, and sees a forgotten letter from three years ago:
"Never give up on your dreams and never think low.
If you changed from your 14 year old self in any way, I want you to change yourself back. I can't lose myself."
With less than a week left till graduation, the thought of being completely done with six years (high school in my country lasts from grade seven to grade twelve) seems like a dream that's about to end; however, I do use the term "dream" loosely. Unlike a dream, high school's filled with memories that won't be lost when I wake up: both good and bad.
If someone had asked me what I would end up with when I graduate in the very beginning of high school (it started at grade seven for me), I would've thought that I would've had the same friends that I did during elementary school, I would've been the top of my class just like my sister and that, at the end of high school, I would've done enough work to go straight into medical school.
I started out highly ambitious and extremely secure in my freshman year. Over the years of high school, my ambitions changed, some realities set in,and life happened, as much as it can to a teenager. I realized that as much as I loved the thought of my future self excelling and succeeding every ambition, I knew that I wasn't truly happy with my decisions or myself.
The fourteen-year-old who was telling her future self that change is a bad thing happened to be terribly misguided. If I hadn't changed from the clueless ninth-grader, I would've never have become resilient, confident, daring (well, as daring as a shy introvert can get) and the person that I've started to like. And as much as I can be neutral about the "high school experience," it was the years with my friends---both old and new---and teachers, that have helped me adapt.
My friends especially have been the vital experience of my time in high school. From grade seven to senior year, I've lost touch with nearly thirty people that I used to call friends: some due to fights worthy to become a plot of (another) Mean Girls sequel, and others due to drifting apart and boarding schools. However, I appreciate all of them for making classes less dreary and more amusing. To the friends I still have, I wonder if we will ever be able to survive our friendship: each of us will make new friends, and have new interests and separate schedules. Our lives will no more be connected through similar classes and the five-days-a-week routine. Nevertheless, I know that the weekly Skype calls and interviews of potential significant others are always going to be a thing for us.
During the stressful two weeks of APs that I had over the last month, I've spoken to one of my counselors about college and the next steps. His words to me were that high school was only one step of the game and that college is worth the (rather long) wait of high school. He gave me assurance that I would be excelling and do great things, just like my sister. He told me he was proud of me for all that I've done, and all that I will do. He finished by placing a request for me to build a washer/dryer that can also fold clothes (which I'll have to pass on since I'm going pretty far from that inventive field).
I want you to know that, even if you didn't accomplish the things you needed to, I need you. That was a confusing sentence but heck, I hope you'll [I'll understand]. There are people who love you and need you. Never think low of yourself as hard as that sounds. I hope that you've won some things, and felt proud that you've accomplished something if you didn't. I hope that you fight your own battles and never give up on them.
As much I'm glad I changed, I'm thankful for that fourteen year old who was comfortable and wise enough to understand that things don't go as expected, and plans break up. I hope she's happy with the person she's become, because I am definitely.
Over the past two months, I've heard some of my classmates guess who's going to cry during graduation, with me being one of the candidates; however, I'm not too sure if I'll shed the tears that some are betting will happen. High school is high school, and memories are memories. Instead of crying about something I won't get back ever, I'm looking forward to the new memories, new friends and new places that I'll be making and seeing.
So, high school? You won't be missed much.
Lead Photo Credit: Baim Hanif