The end is just the beginning
The phrase "the end" instills a multitude of thoughts and opinions, which largely rely on what exactly is ending. For students, the end of the school year unleashes emotions that differ from student to student. Some may be excited, waiting for the long, summer days and an abundance of free time. However, for a certain group of students, the end of the year brings a mix of complicated emotions and also personal achievements.
Seniors at Live Oak High School have about nine days of school left as of today. In the past month, seniors have been preoccupied with the final checkpoints of their senior year. Within a few weeks, they completed their senior projects, presented their experiences to a panel of students and staff and created an exit portfolio to highlight past achievements and work.
What I have observed while thumbing through many of these portfolios is that LOHS seniors have much to be proud of.
Excluding academic and athletic awards, seniors this past year have exhibited an immense jump in maturity as young adults outside the realm of high school. Some of the projects required a growth in creative or logical thoughts processes, such as music creation or furniture building.
Other students elected to go for a more philanthropic and generous route, creating events and programs that ranged from teaching science classes to holding bike safety events.
It is true that this year has had seniors put sincere effort into creating meaningful projects and preparing for graduation day. However, the last year of school encompasses many more tasks and feelings than solely projects and classes.
This last year will force seniors to come to terms with the end of a part of their lives. There will be no more seven classes a day, five days a week. No more purple and gold flying freely at homecoming or rallies. No more working alongside friends amongst familiar and helpful teachers. The common bonds that have kept many seniors together since elementary school will be broken come June 6.
Soon seniors, including myself, must forge our own paths, unique to our own desires and free from the guidelines of the K-12 school system. We will have to say goodbye to friends as we leave for college or work. We may even have to move away from lifelong homes and family.
Graduation is an emotionally charged and heart-rending event, but it should not have to be. Regardless of who it may be, we have all worked to succeed and reach this point. Seniors have maintained excellent grades, participated in clubs or sports, worked after school and sometimes have done all of the above for these past four years.
LOHS class of 2012: When graduation leaves us to move on with life, be sure to give thanks to everyone who has helped you become the person you are today, but do not forget to also thank yourselves for a job well done.
Ciria Salazar is a senior at Live Oak High School. This is her final column for the Education section.