Boy Meets World

 In an episode of Boy Meets World titled Graduation, Mr. Feeny has one last assignment for his students that they don't have to do. Of course Topanga decided she would just to get 700 A's, Shawn decided he wouldn't because no thank you, and Cory was just pretending to be excited for graduation day so yeah he'll do it. The class was assigned to write that paper, and turn it in on the last day of school before graduation. They had, lets say, two weeks to do the paper. That seems easy, but at the same why do it if you don't need to?

 Now, fast forward to June 5th 2015. There I am sitting in my green cap and gown anxiously waiting for my row to stand up, for my name to be called with the 400 others from my class, and to grab my diploma then take that awkward  smiling photo. There I am waiting to do what this episode is leading up to; graduate high school. That was something that many people didn't think I would do due to personal struggles, a medical condition, and having to complete 21 classes/semesters in less than a typical school period because I started late. I didn't think I would even graduate, but I really wanted to with my class. Not the class that was behind mine, I wanted to graduate with the class of 2015 with all of my friends. I wanted to graduate from Sycamore and become an alumni of that school. I wanted to be a Sycamore alumni like my other, my father, my uncle, my cousins, my aunt, and Mark Harmon's niece. And I did, I walked up those stairs, shook hands with my right, grabbed my diploma with my left, smiled for the camera, then walked backstage to actually get my diploma off a table. Then I quickly ran down the halls to get through a door to the auditorium, slowly walked back to my seat, waited for my row to be filled, then sat down together and breathed. I had gotten my diploma, I had pretty much graduated. Now I just had to be congratulated, turn my tassel to the other side of my cap, and throw my cap in the air. This big scary thing that was weighing on my shoulders and constantly stressing me out was a thing of the past. I had conquered high school and had the papers to prove it.

 But back to Mr. Feeny's assignment; he asked his class of 1998 to speak about the weeks leading up to graduation. About how they feel, what's going through their minds, what's going on. I didn't really think about this myself until now, I just thought of what was ahead. How my friends were leaving, how I wasn't going to college, how life would be completely different, how now things started. I was excited to be done with school work, to finally be freed of high school, to be recognized as a grown up. Now I wasn't in high school during 1998, I wasn't in school at all, but I want to do this assignment Mr. Feeny proposed to his class. I want to talk about the weeks leading up to graduation day. Though mine weren't necessarily in a class room, but believe me I still had many emotions running through me as my school years ended.

 The last couple weeks of high school brought me into the reality of the real world. That now my time in school was over, I would need to start a job and get moving. I didn't know at the time of course that I wanted to go to college. Of course those couple of weeks everyone asked "So what are your plans for college?" "What college are you going to?" "What are your plans for the future?" and I would make up some story about doing a gap year to figure it out. Honestly I just didn't want to say 'I don't know' because at the time I didn't. I started thinking about how all my friends were going to college or working two jobs or joining the Navy because "there's nothing else to do here". And that really hit me, that the only three friends I had were now pretty much all leaving. These friendships that had survived high school probably won't survive this thing that's separating us for a while. I started having panic attacks about my friend getting hurt in the Navy or even dying. I started freaking out about how my other friend probably doesn't even care for me now since we never speak. And also about how my one friend probably won't ever have time for me because she has cool new work friends. Of course only one of those turned out to be true, well one and a half because my Navy friend had to come home due to an injury but she's totally fine. But it still freaked me out, thinking that it took me so long to get here, to make these friends... and now I have to start over. That still freaks me out because now I am going to college, or at least trying to and applying. It's just so weird, and it was weird back then too.
 It still hasn't hit me that I've graduated and don't have to go back to high school, I remember talking to the girl sitting next to me asking her if it had hit her yet. Thankfully she said it hadn't yet, so we were in the same boat. But the last couple of weeks it certainly was in my mind, I kept counting down the days until I would join my family in being a Sycamore Alumni. An accidental tradition my family started when my parents, both Sycamore students, put me in Sycamore. And realizing that I was leaving my mark on Sycamore meant going out and making my mark on the world as well. Getting a job I actually enjoy, getting a car and license, starting this blog I've been putting off. But that feelings of "oh my god I graduated" still hadn't hit me. It was like I knew, no more high school, and I knew that I had graduated. But that weight on my shoulders still hadn't lifted, it's like it was replaced by some other weight of the same strength. I don't know exactly what that new weight is yet, but once I figure it out I'll tell you and see if you understand what I'm going through.
 I think the mix and rush of emotions can knock out anyone on those last weeks of school. Making sure you get done what needs to be done, make sure you say goodbye to friends that you may not see for a year or five. Just wrapping everything up in a nice little bow, closing that chapter of your life, ending things on a good note. Though some people may not have to wrap everything up those last couple of days because they already started to along the way. Maybe they started preparing on the first day of school, but maybe you didn't. Everyone handles change and growing up differently. Everyone is different, processes things differently, feels things differently, and ends things differently.
 I know my time in high school wasn't the best, but as I see it, it was the best that I could do for myself. It was the best that I could do with my situations and capabilities. Do I wish that I could have done a lot more things? Yes, but the way I wanted high school to be like was out of a movie. It wasn't realistic for me, I wouldn't have some handsome young Patrick Dempsey looking boyfriend who would take me out late at night to go to some party. I wouldn't have a cute boy standing outside my window with a boom box. I wouldn't have other movie scenes as my high school experience but I just wasn't in that movie. But I did have the typical movie graduation scene. We did have a great valedictorian speech, we did throw our caps up in the air with large smiles on our faces, and confetti did explode. We all did hang around the back room congratulating each other and saying goodbye to those who we wouldn't see that summer. Some people cried while others were taking selfies with their besties. It was great, and that experience was something I'll always remember.
 Shawn said that class rings were stupid, that he had no reason for one. He says that as the cameras turns to Cory sliding Topanga's ring on her finger, making kiss faces as he raised her hand. Not everyone wants one or needs one, but I'll be honest I love mine. It makes me proud to wear it because graduating was something that a lot of people didn't think I'd be able to do. And when I got this ring in freshman year, my life was so different. There was no reason for me not to be able to graduate. And I think this ring is one reason I did, not because I'd have to buy a new one, but because of what it said. It says; Sycamore High, 2015, Sophia, AVES. Not 2016 or some other school mascot with some other high school. It says the school I wanted to be an alumni to and one I wanted to graduate from, and I did.

 To end Mr. Feeny's assignment, on my thoughts and feelings. To wrap everything up nicely I would say I felt anxious, scared, excited, and happy. My mind was filled with 100 thoughts a minute about multiple different things. And what was going on? Life, life was going on, it was moving forward and dragging me with it whether I liked it or not. I miss parts of high school that I didn't think I ever would, I realize that now, but my reunion is in four years so I'll update you then.

Anonymous said...

This is beyond perfect and you have no idea how much I needed this in my life right now.......

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