Senior Goodbye: Change and Stability

By: Naomi Metoyer
Opinion Section Editor

The awkward phase in one’s young life that is their senior year of high school introduced me—in the most condensed, shocking, and swift way I ever have—to life beyond high school and childhood.

 

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Photo Credit: Naomi Metoyer

I could say all the things you’ve heard before about the unforgettable experience that was these last four years. For one, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. But more importantly, I’ve decided—learned—that when I have the chance, I’m going to write what I want, how I want because the things I’m passionate about are going to be the best of me and my writing—my heart on the page, if you will.

 

I suppose the entire experience that was my high school and teen years molded who I would grow into on my way to adulthood, but all of the learning I feel I did happen in the most notable effect this last year. So this is my farewell, but my thank you as well, for all of those lessons.

High school has given me quite a few lessons on change. The friends, mindsets, and goals I began high school with are not the same I’m ending with, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that change is the only thing that is guaranteed in life and as such must be embraced.

At the beginning of senior year, I’d just come back from the trip of a lifetime—a four-day weekend in the city that never sleeps. I’d attended a wedding in Manhattan and visited the schools I had, for so long, thought I wanted to attend.

On a humid Friday morning in NYC, I’d spun around, head thrown back in awe at the millions of books held within just one of New York University’s 22 massive libraries. I’d stepped onto the lush grasses of the Narnia that was Columbia University’s campus. I’d seen the city I’d dreamt of, visited the schools I’d aspired toward, and tasted a slice of a life I’d forever imagined—yet it was not meant to be.

You see, I’d been told for so long what I should do, what I should care about, plan for, and shoot in the direction of. For so long I had been—and still, sometimes find myself—far too concerned with what the world had to say about me and my life. I was consumed with an ideal I had never truly explored.

Going through the hell that is senior year—the culmination of every mistake from the past three years added onto the stress of graduating, college acceptance, and scholarships—forced me to consider the reasons I was doing everything I was.

When I reflected and expanded, I was introduced to an avenue I had ignorantly scoffed in the face of for so long before. I started looking into the Navy.

Every college and scholarship due date passed by. All my friends stressed, then decided, then continued with plans. College plans. Plans I thought, since grade five, I’d be making around this time. Life doesn’t ever really end up how you imagined in your head, though, does it?

I had found something I was genuinely content and excited about, not something I was intrigued by because of others’ projections.

This drastic transition taught me something as well. I learned to prioritize my own opinion above those of people who never walked a day in my body.

All of the faces, comments that I was “wasting my potential” or “giving up,” just allowed me strength enough to discard the expectations of everyone around me. As my stepdad said in one of the most memorable conversations I have possibly ever had, I have never taken the traditional route in anything, so why should I now?

I learned in high school, you must embrace all that you feel. You have to live, love, be while you can. Live while you are alive.

In the past year alone, I’ve lost two friends, two beautiful souls who will never get the chance to graduate with our 2019 class. It’s all gone in a second. We have none to waste.

You must not waste your time with people, thoughts, and ideas that do not give you all the joy you could have. We all ignore the simple and obvious fact of our own morality. We must live like we know.

Spend time with people who genuinely, unconditionally, and unrestrainedly make you feel appreciated, loved, and cherished. Why waste your time when it is already so limited?

Don’t beat around the bush or wait for a perfect moment—there are none unless you make them. Be who you are unapologetically. Someone like you will find a home in your truth. There is nothing more suffocating than a life that is full of temporary fixes. Make an honest, everyday promise to yourself to never remain with something you are not positive gives you the love you need.

Lastly, I have learned that so many things are temporary. Friends, goals, dreams, trends, emotions. It is the spice of life, the way things change. This is good. Embrace it.

The only thing to worry about amidst such change is yourself, literally the only person guaranteed to remain with you for life. Do what is right and good for that person who will always be there. With this, there is peace.

I suppose this isn’t much of a send-off or remembrance of Agua Fria, but to me it is. It is the culmination of what I learned—the lessons which will perhaps be relevant longer and have more applications than any school subject—in these four years, the mementos to a period I will not be able to erase from memory.

For the upcoming seniors and all else, enjoy the time you have here as much as you can. Enjoy every moment of every situation as best you can, there is never a reason not to try to be happy.

Thank you Agua Fria for every single lesson, you will be remembered. Maybe even missed.