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To The Class of 2014,

Can you believe we experienced the last first day of school (in high school, anyway)? Your last first Friday night football game? Your last Friday night football game? Your last Homecoming spirit week? Your last 6 a.m. sports practice? Your last school dance? Your last Prom? Your last final? Your last day of school?

I’m not sure what to think.

Yes, I could pretend that I’m one of those super-in-love-with-high-school students who are so school spirited and therefore so incredibly sad to be leaving high school. On the other hand, I could pretend to be one of those people who are “so done” with high school and all its drama. But in reality, I’m neither of those. And I like to think most of us are a little bit of both.

It’s over. High school is over. We’re never getting these four years back.

Just think how far we’ve come in these four years. Wait, that’s a little hard to think about, right? At least for me, high school has been a blur. I don’t remember my time walking through freshman hall. Don’t remember it at all. I don’t remember my sophomore math class… or English class… or history class (wait, did I take a history class that year?). I vaguely remember some all-nighters during junior year. I remember senior year! Right? Or do I?

In all honesty, high school has been a lot of the same. Wake up, school, homework, repeat. But I think we’ll all have some standouts in our memories. Maybe it’s Prom, maybe it’s winning a state championship, acing that test, being the lead in the musical, or maybe it’s committing to a college. And maybe we have some standouts that aren’t so great. Maybe it’s that AP test we weren’t prepared for, taking the ACT for the five hundredth time, falling asleep in class, losing the big sports game.

It was good and it was bad. It’s almost hard to remember. Maybe it was those all-nighters?

But I’m not sure what to think. High school was weird, ya know?

But guess what? This isn’t an ending. It’s only the beginning. We are no longer the Class of 2014. We are now the future Class of 2018 or future military personnel or future workers or future people in general. Instead of looking back, we can now look forward.

And wow, there is a whole world ahead of us.

I don’t want to forget this feeling. It’s a weird transition feeling. We’ve spent so much of our lives in a shell, sheltered by the walls of an institution we called high school surrounded by people we called our friends taking tests that teachers say will make us smarter so that we’ll get into colleges that we’re told are good for our career. We’ve waited, we’ve worked, we’ve had fun along the way. We’ve been looking for that light at the end of the tunnel which was typically graduation. And now we’ve arrived.

And man, is there so much beyond this light at the end of the tunnel that we couldn’t see until now. It seems like the whole world is open to us–yet we’re still in transition. But now we see it: the real world, in all its glory and letdowns.

I don’t want to forget this feeling: The feeling of being limitless. The feeling of having fond memories of the past but not an attachment so deep that we’re bound to it. The feeling of having a clean piece of paper in front of us waiting for us along to write our destinies upon. The chance to do something more and greater with our lives. The feeling of being ready to take the world by storm.

And I hope none of you ever forget this feeling. Or if you aren’t feeling that, I hope you find this feeling of opportunity sometime over the next few weeks as you enter summer and cling to it.

Because it’s our turn, Class of 2014. It’s our turn to show this world who we are. I know we’re something amazing.

Are you ready?

I am.

Peace,
Your fellow Class of 2014-er



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the author

Annie Schugart is a high school senior from Kansas City, but she will be heading to the East Coast next year to attend Harvard. Annie is editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, plays flute and was a part of the U.S. Army All-American Band, is the president of the National Teen Council, loves to dance, and is an avid tie-dye enthusiast. She hopes to run for president in 2032, and she hopes someday you'll join her and the world will be as one. ☮

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  1. Mary on May 27, 2014

    “I don’t want to forget this feeling: The feeling of being limitless. The feeling of having fond memories of the past but not an attachment so deep that we’re bound to it. The feeling of having a clean piece of paper in front of us waiting for us along to write our destinies upon. The chance to do something more and greater with our lives. The feeling of being ready to take the world by storm.”

    I couldn’t have put it better. Excellent writing, and best of luck!

    –fellow class of 2018-er

    🙂

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