Graduation is a bittersweet thing

Published 5:32 am Wednesday, May 21, 2003

By Staff
Lindsey Sherrill
Well, it's getting close.
We've finished class night, survived baccalaureate, finished most of the exams, and heard "Pomp and Circumstance" enough to make us all scream.
And after tomorrow night it will all be over.
It's a strange feeling. Bittersweet. I guess would be the only way to describe it. I'm so ready to be graduated, yet I'm not so sure I am. A friend told me something along the same lines Sunday afternoon.. She said that it was almost as if it was hard to feel anything because she was feeling so much. I think that might be the best way to describe all of this. I swing from relief to be finished to terror at change; to joy over the coming future to sadness over what will soon be the past.
I really wasn't feeling much this weekend. During Class Night I laughed and sniffled a little, but when everyone was crying, I really wasn't feeling a whole lot. Saturday afternoon I was in the same mood when I turned on the radio. For some reason they were playing the Vitamin C "Graduation Song." That has got to rank up there with the world's corniest songs, but it just got me. I was listening to the words and I wrote down a few that really struck me. The song says "No more hanging out, we're on a different track." It seems like a really strange thing to miss, but I know it' going to feel lonely this fall when I pass a parking lot and don't see somebody I know or when I just want to call a friend to have lunch and can't. I know we'll all make new friends, but it won't be the same as being with people you grew up with.
Another line of the song says "Will our jokes still be funny? Will we still be breaking rules?" I don't know what will happen in the future, but I'd say it is probably a safe bet that remembering Cody climbing up the air vent will still make us laugh. And as for breaking rules, well, let's just say that it's going to take a lot more than just graduation to reform some of us.
But more seriously, the song says "Will these memories fade when we leave this town?" Sadly, I'm afraid many of them will. Yet many others are going to leave their mark on all of us. Whether we realize it or not, and, though we may not all wish for it, this town, our school, and these people have become a part of us that we will never leave behind. No matter where we go in our future lives, we cannot forget our home and the people and things that have helped to shape us. Because, like another part of the song says, "It's not good-bye, it's time to fly."
Maybe the part of the song that really affected me most was the line "If you have something to say, say it now, 'cause you won't have another chance." So I guess now, before we really are graduated, is the time for me to say the things I haven't had the time or the nerve to say all year. Here goes: I love all of you guys. I haven't been the most fun classmate this year. I haven't tried as hard as I could to get to know all of you or made it easy to get to know me. But I have come to love you guys and I am going to miss you all. When Thursday comes, I probably will cry. Good luck with whatever comes along.
And for all of the Seniors, not only those in my class, but also in the other high schools, I give you the same message I read at Class Night: "May the wind be ever behind you, May the hills rise up to meet you, and may God keep you in the palm of His hand."

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