Commencement

It’s great to say that I’ve officially graduated high school. While high school wasn’t the four worst years of my life, they weren’t the four greatest either. The high school memories I have will always be special and I know that I will remember many of them fondly. But there are also moments that I will reflect on and ask myself: “What the fuck were you thinking, Chels?”

High school was the time to grow up. To experience things for the first time. To make mistakes. To become who you wanted to be. To skip class. To stay up too late. To hang out with your friends. To figure yourself out. High school really was an experience for you to decide who you want to be and along the way make some great friends and memories. It was a time for self-discovery, for experimentation, for rebellion, and for learning things the hard way. 

Now that high school is over, in a sense I’ve entered the adult life. I no longer live with my parents, and I’m no longer surrounded with my high school friends. I do my own laundry, and occasionally take the garbage to the chute when the cleaning lady doesn’t take it out for me. I no longer have the obligation to text my parents when I’m about to miss curfew (every weekend) and I don’t have to worry about sobering up before going home.

In some ways, I miss high school. Mainly because I knew exactly where I belonged and I was comfortable with my friends and teachers. It had become my second home. I spent more time at school than I did at home. But I also love the fresh start that university has given me. No one knew me and I could reconstruct myself into the person I wanted to be instead of conforming to the me that everyone in high school thought I was. No one judges you in university for your studying habits or your lifestyle unless it interrupts theirs. And perhaps my favourite is no one gives a shit about your accomplishments, your grades, or your past because it becomes irrelevant the moment you step on campus. All that matters is the future, what you are going to accomplish, what you are going to do and of course how many shots you can take.

High school was a great learning experience. I grew up so much there. I had my first drink. I went through puberty. I had my first boyfriend. I went to my first party. I skipped class. I slept through class. I pulled my first all-nighter. I regretted my first all-nighter. I joined clubs. I had my first break-up. I had my first break-down. I had my first joint. I almost failed math (twice). High school was full of ups and downs. Of accomplishments and regrets. And of discovery and disappointment. High school shaped me into who I am today.

But it is the beginning of a new chapter of my life. The commencement of post-secondary education. Of drunken hook-ups and long lectures. Of caf food and scantron midterms. Of buying your own toilet paper and spending a fortune on textbooks. Of making new friends and creating new memories. University is the beginning of a new journey for me to grow and develop into who I want to be. It’s a time to make stupid mistakes and regret them when you’re hungover in a three hour lecture. It’s a new beginning. And I’m excited.

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