My high school diploma is equivalent to a Grammy award 

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      If I wanted to make my senior column simple, I would say: Online classes are the spawn of Satan, and find good friends to drag you through high school. 

      But I never make things simple. In fact, I often overthink and overcomplicate everything. So here’s my final farewell note to high school, unsimplified. 

      Truthfully, I was ready to leave high school the moment I stepped into my first day of freshman year. I came from a small school. I went from a graduating class of 75 to a graduating class of 875. My brain couldn’t handle the social pressure and the academic jump. It felt like everyone already had their own pockets of friends, and I was dangling by a thread to each one, not fitting in anywhere. 

      The first half of my high school career was a blur, days only differentiated by what playlist I was listening to and what songs were running through my head. I look back on those days with regret, but I’m not sure if I would ever want to go back and relive that experience—even if I had the chance to change it. So I never expected to take away positive memories from high school.

      But I was proven wrong this year. I met some fantastic people (especially through The Eyrie) and made some awesome memories.

      High school is a giant, four-year journey, and I would not have made it through if it weren’t for so many people in my life that helped. So, I don’t mean to sound like I just won a Grammy, but here’s a list of people that I owe for getting me through high school: 

      A giant thank you to my closest friends, the ones who are still friends with me after my ugly, emotional breakdowns in the cafeteria and my endless refusal to get help with my insecurities and issues. 

      Thanks to my teachers, who patiently dealt with me and my scattered mind, hatred for confrontation, and endless test retakes.

      To the people I’ve met throughout my high school career that are absolutely amazing—a big thank you. I am so lucky to have met some hilarious and incredibly supportive people who definitely do not know how much they mean to me. 

      Of course, I have to thank my family. To my dad, for driving me to the high school approximately a million times, even when I tell him I need to go somewhere a mere ten minutes before I actually have to be there. To my sister, for listening to me air out my anxiety, stress, and endless gossip about my friends. And to my mom, for staying up with me when I have a test the next day, for getting me late-night coffee, and giving me freshly-sliced fruit because she knows I never eat them on my own. 

      And lastly, a heartfelt thank you to my music. Sure, it’s not a person, but I’m not sure I would still be here if it weren’t for the thrill of a heavy bass in my ears or a beautiful melody that I hoped to sing someday. Music held my hand as I kicked and struggled through high school. Music is the solace I find through my tears, the support that reminds me that there are better days ahead. 

      And there are better days ahead. High school is one more rung on the ladder of life, and I’m so glad I got to experience it.