June 11, 2014"You don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened." — An Abundance of Katherine's
Well this is it, Jags of 2014. We graduated.
These past four years have been a rollercoaster of amazing memories, but memories are just that. Like John Green says, memories are what we remember and not necessarily what actually happened. For that reason all of us are leaving high school with different feelings and memories.
The glorious part of that is that as soon as we were accepted as the class of 2014 those memories didn't even matter any more.
A graduation ceremony is not an end but rather a beginning for what is yet to come. Some of us will be headed off to college, others straight to work, and still some off to serve this country.
One of my favorite commencement speeches of 2014 had the line "you are not special." As we sat in our cap and gowns there were obvious things that distinguished one student from the next. I, myself, had on chords for ITS, CSF, a medallion for NHS, and another for the biliteracy seal, but even what I had presented on me didn't define my person inside and, now, outside of high school.
Take away the chords and medallions and have the top ten in the same black gowns and what do we have? A group of about 300 kids who are not special.
Now some might be upset right now because their mother always told them they were special or a teacher used their work as the example in class or someone along the way in life told them they were different and here I am telling you, you are not special.
The commencement speech then ends by saying, "the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you're not special."
Everyone is special.
We're all so different that it's pretty stupid to compare ourselves to anyone else.
While my memories might be of being seen as not being special to my classmates, all our memories are different. They are what we remember and what we'll talk about years from now at a reunion.
Another favorite John Green quote is from Paper Towns, "It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world."
And thus, I leave you Jags. Thank you for sticking with me these past two years as I've tried to understand high school and figure out what happens after.
Thank you to the Roadrunner for having given me this job and thank you to those teachers like Mrs. Rienick and Mr. Goodman who have helped me find my voice in my writing and style.
Finally, thank you my dear readers. If I have ever made you laugh like a little kid, cry as I pulled your heartstrings, or even hate what I wrote so much you crumpled my column and then gossiped with a friend, I thank you.
Because then I've done my job.