I graduated less than a week ago from high school.

I have yet to fully comprehend the fact that those were permanent goodbyes that I dealt out, that it would be the last time my grad class would be assembled together. In the heat of the moment, and I mean it literally because the auditorium was incredibly warm, I found my mind drifting into nothingness. I kind of wish I had something more poignant that struck me as my peers’ names were being called, but my overall sweatiness forbade my mind from wandering elsewhere. Now that I’m finally winding down from the events, I suppose I have some sentiments that I could express.

Gratitude is the first thing that comes to mind. I have received an education that was relatively affordable whilst others in this world are deprived on this necessity. I also have immense appreciation for the people who have supported me the last five years whether it was inside or outside the classroom.

High school has been a tiny representation of the world that exists beyond me. It has taught me a lot about myself, the meaning of resilience, and the importance of relationships. I am finally learning to feel comfortable in my own skin, but I’ll admit that some days are harder than others. It’s all part of a process, and one that will continue as I embark on a new chapter.

In the last year, as part of becoming more confident in who I am and what my values are, I have ended and begun new friendships. I feel more connected to the people that I choose to spend my time with. A part of growing up was about accepting that friends grow apart and acknowledging that I have a choice in maintaining relationships or not. People who end up dissipating from my life are results of choices I have made to stop trying. And that’s ok.

My health has been at the forefront of the last few months, both physical and mental. I had taken it for granted for so long and it wasn’t until I experienced what it would feel like if my health were to limit my every day life, that I realized just how valuable a sound body is. My body is my home and I had been neglecting it. I have since made an effort to establish better habits because the truth is, I have to learn to care for myself because it’s no one else’s responsibility.

If you told me a year ago that I would have to come to terms with graduation by this point, I would have scoffed and immediately forced that thought to the farthest corners of my mind. But here I am, addressing it the best that I can and learning to accept my reality. A part of me is unsettled my the amount of change that is about to take place in the next few months, but another part of me knows that it is what I need, when one is comfortable for too long, we become stagnant, and I guess this is my time to push those boundaries. Here is to a new era.


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