Senior column: The impending 'real' world
Published: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 11:53am
I came home from school today and cried. I never pictured myself as someone who would feel this broken up over the end of high school. But, in ways, it is the end of an era. I no longer will walk down these halls, complain about the chairs in the library, or hear people asking what is 48-down on the crossword. I am no longer a high schooler, I am now an adult, 18, a full member of society, and expected to act as an adult.
These five years are a blur now, but at the time they seemed to crawl along. In many ways it seems too short. How can high school be over? I remember sitting on the playground in elementary school picturing what it would be like to be a high schooler. It seemed unattainable. But now it is over and I am supposedly moving on.
When you begin high school you have certain expectations that you set even before you begin, be they from older cousins, bad book series, or pure imagination. I was always one for grandiose imaginary futures. Creating this picturesque future proves just how creative I am, and just how much I live in my head.
Uni was supposed to be the place that I found myself, discovered how I was going to change the world, and make friends that would last a lifetime. Yet, unfortunately not everything goes to plan.
Two weeks ago if you spoke to me I would have had a hell of a lot of negative things to say about Uni, just general cynical comments that pass through almost every students' head. I was unhappy, wondering why had I put myself in this position, wondering why didn't I have the guts to change my situation if I was so unhappy? I was pessimistic about pretty much everything you could throw at me.
Then it all begins to come to a close. It becomes scary, the prospects of living outside of the world I have known my entire life. New faces, new classrooms, new standards. All I want to do is cling to what I know. I want to continue to wake up every morning, be it at 5 a.m. or 7 a.m., walk in the doors, talk to my friends, run on the sauna called a track, pinch myself to stay awake in class, make french toast in the kitchen, read People magazine in the library. All of a sudden these completely mundane things seem so much more important, like I should savor every moment and memory.
This feeling complicates everything. Why do I feel this way? I have had five years to eat lunch on the stairs, jump on vending machines, and pass notes in class. Why all of sudden do I care so much? I'm not even sure I know the answer. All I know is that I will miss the incoherent arguments, asking for chewvachka, and hiding behind the filing cabinets in the most epic game of hide-and-go-seek.
Uni has been my world for the past five years, my safe little bubble world where I knew that I would always be protected. Now I feel as if I am watching a huge tsunami of real world responsibility and expectations rush towards me, and I don't know what I am supposed to do.
Hopefully, as the summer progress I will come to terms that this phase of my life is over. I will still see my friends, but there will be something different. There will be a silent shift in attitude, we will all know that soon our worlds will grow exponentially, over which many tears will be shed and many smiles made.
I feel as if I am that four-year-old that doesn't want to go swimming, but some adult comes and throws me in when I least expect it and watches me doggie-paddle frantically just to gain some air. Uni has been the kiddy-pool for five years, and now I am ready to go off the high dive (at least that is what it seems like from this perspective).
I look at all of our names on the map in the lounge, see how we are being scattered all over the nation, and it's bittersweet. As Ygritte said, "All men must die, Jon Snow. But first we’ll live," we will all go onto do a whole lot of living, and hopefully have some fantastic stories when I see you all next. I know that it will be hard, but it will be worth it.
I have the great and horrible task of being the first of a great dynasty. I am the oldest of three girls. My sister Mara is a sophomore, and my youngest sister, Zina, will be joining Uni next year.
Unfortunately the three of us will not overlap at Uni, but that does not mean I will not be involved in Zina's Uni High career. In preparation for her new beginning, and out of my nostalgic fog I have created a list of twelve (one for each year she has lived so far) survival tips for the next five years of her life.
The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Uni for Zina Dale Dolan, Esq.
1. In the first two months of school have a conversation with everyone in your class.
2. Don't call in a bomb threat; it will ruin your reputation because I will tell everyone it was you.
3. Maintain your friendships outside of Uni.
4. Make friends with upperclassmen.
5. Eat lunch on the library balcony.
6. Have tea parties during free periods.
7. Play charades or hide-and-go-seek during lunch.
8. Don't buy pizza until 11:40 when it's $0.50.
9. Make excuses to bake brownies at school.
10. Always find time for People and Seventeen Magazine.
11. Don't play the bottle game or ABC.
12. Remember mediocrity is underrated (don't tell mum or dad).
Good luck to everyone.
Much love, Amalia