Despite all the stress, tears and mental exhaustion, there were a lot of good memories that came out of high school.
Days spent with your best mates, sharing food and laughing in the quad. 18ths where you got drunk for the first time and fell down the stairs. School photo days, athletics carnivals and muck up days that became the highlight of the year. Summer afternoons spent in classrooms without air conditioning where the teacher put on a movie and you spent most of the class dozing with your head on the desk. Spending hours lounging around on your best friends bed, school bags chucked in the corner, while you scrolled through Facebook.
Getting your Ls and then your Ps. Going driving with your friends for the first time and arguing over who go to control the AUX cord. The very first Year 12 exam where everyone anxiously waited outside the exam hall and you and your friends said you were going to fail and become strippers. Putting your pen down for the very last time and realising that you were done. Graduation ceremonies where your parents cried and formal photos where they cried again. After parties and trips to the beach and late night Kmart runs when you didn’t have any exams or classes the next day.
And now we’re here.
Results and ATARs are out, summer holidays have started, and the festive season is in full swing. The end of the year is creeping closer and I can’t escape the feeling that I’m saying goodbye to some of the most important and influential years of my life.
And I’m scared. I’m scared of forgetting the names of people who I grew up beside. I’m scared of forgetting my favourite teachers and the lame jokes they made in class. I’m scared of forgetting my best friends and I’m scared of the inevitable truth that most of us will grow apart.
I’m scared that I didn’t take enough photos. That I’ll look back on the selfies with my friends and group shots and not remember what happened just before we took the snap, or the name of the person standing next to me.
I’m scared that late night dnms will gradually fade until I can’t remember what they were about, or that they even happened at all. Scared that I’ll forget about how it felt to have my first crush in Year 7 and the hours it took to compose messages to the boy I was talking to.
I know in the years to come little details will slip away. I won’t be able to remember the name of my Year 9 teacher, or the girl who sat across from me in English. I won’t be able to remember which classroom I spent Maths in, even though right now it still feels embedded in my brain.
But I don’t want to lose the more important things-memories of first kisses and high school relationships that didn’t last past graduation. The memories of me and my best friend even if we do drift away from each other. Memories of how much faith my favourite teacher had in me and the conversation where she told me it didn’t matter what my ATAR was.
Soon, we’re all going to move on with our lives and away from our high school years. And I’m excited to leave behind the drama, stress and pettiness that comes from spending so much time with the same people.
But at the same time, I’m terrified to forget what this all feels like and I don’t want to get 30 years down the track and struggle to recall my high school memories to tell my kids.