At the start of middle school, I received my first google username – HunterL18@ wpsma.org, the 18 a reference to my graduation year, a year that seemed decades away to my sixth grade self in 2011. Around that same time in sixth grade, we learned about our changing growing bodies and the horrible topic of puberty that is universally dreaded. Thinking back on it, I am not sure why we were all so apprehensive to speak on the subject during health class, but I bet it has something to do with the fear of change. Fast-forward 7 years and here we are in 2018, thousands of google classroom updates and hundreds of enotes later. The bombardment of emails from colleges I have never heard of (Misericordia University?) are starting to stack up along with the constant reminders from my teachers, parents and fellow students that college is approaching. There is no escaping the end of my academic career in Walpole—an end to vocabulary.com updates and shared google documents.
In all stages of life, people go through changes whether it be growing up, changing schools, finding new friend groups or starting or ending a relationship. Every year, people vow to change something in their lives whether it be going to the gym more often or finally cleaning out your spam mailbox (mine is currently at 6,478 unread) but just a few weeks into the new year and the #NewYearNewMe trend is already starting to dwindle. The fresh s n o w t h a t rang in the New Year is now dirty, and the resolutions people made are melting away like the piles of snow that surround the seniors’ parking spots. Even still, everything is changing all the time, and no one is more aware of this change than high school seniors who are making preparations for the rest of our lives.
I have always felt that safe is better than sorry, and to quote a cinematic masterpiece (a.k.a. High School Musical), “don’t mess with the status quo.” I have spent seventeen years in East Walpole, sixteen years in the same house and thirteen years of my life with the now very familiar faces of my classmates.
But the world is ever changing. We will all move on from high school at some point, and even if that seems far in the distance, I promise it will sneak up on you as it did me. I am beginning to come to terms with the belief that nothing lasts forever. It used to bother me because I believed my friends would always be the same people, my family will always be with me, and Walpole will still be my home, but now I look at it in a different light. Yes, I am terrified to leave my friends, my family, my school, and my town; how will everything go on without me? Though, I am sure that everything will be just fine because that is just the way things work and missing something is part of moving on. Change is inevitable: soon enough HunterL18@wpsma.org will be deactivated, and the spam college emails will end, but all of us seniors will move on to new and exciting chapters of our lives.