Last night I fell asleep to the sound of my school-issued laptop whirring loudly as it tried to save all of my files to a flash drive. All of my essays, photos, concert videos, yearbook planning lists, and so many more memories were stored on that laptop. It held my entire senior year in its hard drive, and now it’s empty.
Metaphorically, that’s a pretty accurate description of my life right now.
Senior year came to an end ten days ago, and I’ve had trouble comprehending it and coming up with a decent answer when people ask me, “So what’s it like to be a high school graduate???”
To be honest with you, it feels different than I thought it would. I thought the morning after graduation I’d wake up feeling like a well-rounded, responsible adult, but I actually just felt dead because I was up until 5AM at Project Grad. Now, a week out, I suppose it’s weird that I’m able to sleep in late while the underclassmen are still at school, but that’s really not something I distinctly notice. My life has carried on as usual, just without the high school part. All of the nostalgic and emotional build-up to graduation was more emotional than actually graduating. . .
BUT, I do miss it. And I probably will for a while. I miss seeing my friends that are in grades below me, I miss going to the journalism room when I’m bored, and I miss just knowing that I belonged in those halls. The morning we walked in for graduation practice I already felt like an outsider, and that actually made me sad. I’m an alum now, which means I have to get a visitor’s pass when I go in, and it also means that I’m no longer a Kickapoo High School Senior. (tears).
Which, in turn, brings me back to my laptop. I was issued this cute little MacBook Pro at the beginning of my senior year, and since then we’ve just been inseparable. I wrote my first blog post on it, and many times after when I’d get inspiration in the middle of the night it was always there with a willing keyboard. I’ve edited concert vlogs, typed fifteen page lab reports, and created a yearbook on this thing. We’ve been through a lot, and for some reason I’m having the hardest time thinking about letting it go (which, by the way, I’m doing so in about an hour). This laptop traveled with me to school, to cheer practice, to the library, to the airport (three times!), to conventions, contests, and bus rides. It held my photos from my first trip to Disney World, my 1989 Tour videos that were filled with screams and crying, and all of my meticulous writing from Grammar and Comp. (*shudders*).
It held my entire senior year. Every bit of it.
The storage device on this laptop that held my life is now empty, but that doesn’t mean it never had a purpose. For nine whole months this laptop was mine. I was responsible for it, and it was with me when I made some of my favorite memories from my senior year at Kickapoo. That senior year is over now too; you could say it’s empty, but it still had a purpose.
The purpose of my senior year was to learn, to grow, to love, to hurt, to succeed, to fail, to apologize, to adventure, to discover, to decide, to plan, and to live. There is not one moment of my last year that I would ever take back. I made so many beautiful memories with some of the most wonderful people, and even when times weren’t so bright I’m glad that in hindsight I can see they were just to benefit the ultimate purpose.
Everything comes to an end in some way or another; that’s an inevitable fact of life. But just because it ends doesn’t mean you have to love it any less, forget what it taught you, or be afraid to move on. I’ll miss high school, but I know that my future plans will hold new exciting adventures, stories, and memories. It will have a purpose, too.
So I think it’s time for me to go find out what it is.
“The only constant it change, and you never know what you’ll find.”
PS: RIP laptop. I’ll miss you 😥