Reflecting on Graduation

Posted June 24, 2016 by Emz Chang in Life / 1 Comment

reflecting-on-graduation

Warning: word vomit below!

Eep! I cannot believe that it’s been a week since I graduated from high school. I’m still filled with mixed feelings about it. I spent the last four years of my life looking forward to that moment. High school was absolutely miserable for me. Yeah, I made a lot few good friends and a couple decent acquaintances. Yeah, I learned some valuable life lessons. Yeah, I learned information that will help me in college. But overall, I was miserable. I was kind of depressed if I’m being completely honest.

My high school is what some people consider a competitive high school. You’re talking about a school where the majority (I think) of students take honors level classes or higher. There was a huge emphasis on grades and peer pressure to take more advanced classes. Needless to say, high school was super stressful and not a very fun time for me.

But even though I spent so much time wishing for it to come, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad when I was standing in line waiting for my name to be called to get my diploma. My high school graduation marks the end of one chapter of my life and the beginning of another. Actually, that’s not quite the best analogy. Graduation is more like the final chapter of one series and this summer is the prologue to its spin-off.

In the new series, old characters might reappear, but I’m essentially saying goodbye to the ones I’ve spent the last eleven years getting to know. Maybe I won’t be saying goodbye to my friends for good, but there’s no denying that some of us will drift and that scares me.

Besides people, the setting of the series will change too. Even though I’ll be attending a state university that is less than an hour’s drive from my house, it still feels far away and is a totally new and different environment. I’ve spent the last eleven years of my life in this one town, sheltered and protected the walls of my own room. Next year I’ll be living in a dorm with a roommate. So many changes for someone who doesn’t like change that much.

Still, as scared and nervous I am to embark on this new adventure, I can’t deny that I am also excited. After graduation, someone came up to me and said, “You worked so hard to get here. You must be so relieved it’s over.” And I was. I was relieved to be done with high school. But I don’t think I was relieved for the same reasons that lady thought I would be.

She was wrong in a way. I never doubted my ability to graduate. It’s just not in my culture (my mom can sometimes be your stereotypical Asain mom… sometimes) or the academic culture of my school. I don’t think I worked hard to graduate, per say, but more so to get into a respected college. College has always been my end goal during high school. Getting an acceptance letter from the college of my choice meant more to me than walking during the graduation ceremony and getting my high school diploma.

As for where I’ve been for that last month or two? I was just trying to soak in my last moments as a minor (I turned eighteen the same week I graduated) and as a senior in high school. I have accumulated a lot of regrets over the years. Not making enough effort to spend time with my friends is one of them. This blog will always be here waiting for my return. I cannot say the same thing about my friends, many of which will be living in different states come September.

While graduation might mark the end of one chapter, it doesn’t mean the story has come to a close. I hope I’ll be able to keep up with this blog through college. It’s one of the things that helped me keep my sanity throughout high school. I’m looking forwards to the future, living in the present, and remembering the past. Here’s to what’s to come and hopefully the remainder of a good year.

Emz Chang

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