To my dear Friends of the class of 2016…
The moment has come.
Last Saturday was the day when the moment we had waited for so long since the day we first set foot at our beloved school, finally arrived.
It felt as something so far away but at the same time… happened so quickly.
16 years of living, breathing, walking, talking and studying with the same people came to an end, marking the very first check on our list of life achievements and a milestone of the beginning of a new era called ADULTHOOD. But you know what? I still can’t believe it.
I couldn’t really sleep on Friday. Between the fear and excitement that had kept me going the entire week between parties, cocktails and certificate deliveries and that little hint of nostalgia that comes with the emotional hangover implied in saying goodbye.
I woke up a little earlier than usual, brushed my teeth, showered and made myself ready for the important event… My last one as a high school student. The entire trip to the venue was more like an unplanned trip down to memory lane. Ironically enough, I even sat there in the car, looking through the window – Very The Notebook alike- while remembering...
I thought about myself and how much I’ve changed over the years.
I thought about my dorky looks, the braces, the mushroom haircut, the acne, the fashion stage where
I thought that being chic meant wearing nothing but crazy things to school… And believe me, I did make quite a few statements hahah
I wore big bows, high-waisted shorts, before they were even considered cool and the trendiest things you can think of only people in magazines used to wear. I had my rocker stage, the overdressed one and so on. But that’s just physically speaking, I changed a great deal mentally as well. I became someone who despises hypocritical behaviour, I learned the hard way to stick to MY BUSINESS and values. I learned that being popular and loved are two different sides of a story, and that I’m much more comfortable enjoying real friends than a group of people whose presence is only noted at parties. I remembered my teachers, the odd ones, the smelly ones, the ones I found most scary or too tough; the ones who left and the ones who became friends. I thought about the mischiefs we managed in class and the people who were my accomplices in and out of the classroom. I remembered every single one of the projects we ended up doing at 2am in the morning, because A) we procrastinated until the last minute B) “working” at your friends house or Starbucks never meant working but a 7 hour session of gossip.(Let’s be completely honest here!)
I remembered the times we went to grab a cold beer after a test and all the time we spent at the same coffee shop after class just for the sake of spending time together.
And the stress…. OH MY GOD, REMEMBER THE STRESS?!?! of having to study for every single tortuous exam WHILE trying to figure out in the meantime what the unknown future would hold? Were we’d be..? And what we’d do outside of the protective walls of our school?
Last but not least, I thought about my fellow seniors.
Most of them, people whom I’ve known since kindergarten. People whom I’ve seen in their highs and lows, their dorky stages, heartbreaks, moments of lucidity, parties and finally entering maturity (and growing into some fine looking peeps truth be told) I can’t believe they are growing up, (Knowing the things I know hahaha) but aside from that, I find impressive the beautiful friendships I’ve founded. I’m one of those melancholic souls that mesmerizes itself with our capacity to love and care for someone, in a way so deep, that we just connect. However, I consider myself even luckier by knowing that this people feel the same about me. Love is simply defined by a desire to be close. It’s cool to find “friends” at a party and have fun, but it’s even cooler to make and effort to go and have brunch with them the next morning (hangover) solely for the purpose of seeing them. Or grab a coffee or simply make a phone call to hear their voice. That’s probably what I’m going to miss the most. I should thank my parents, teachers and school for preparing me for the next part of my life. For making me create a habit of work and dedication to fulfil my goals. But I need to thank my friends for letting me discover what it is to trust and love someone unconditionally. I’d like to make a toast for all the stupid inner jokes (Helado p, potasio, estoy cansada, ¿café?, llamas a mi), crushes, dates, kisses and disappointments that in the end became nothing but funny stories to tell at our gatherings.
Another one, for my first shot with you, and all the other ones we drank for ABSOLUTELY no reason but were always able to find an excuse. "Because it was my birthday" "Because it’s our song" "Because you haven’t drank one with me… yet" There’s always an excuse to celebrate something.
Thanks for teaching me that.
Thanks for teaching me to take myself and life a little less seriously and #yolo a little more.
Now, every time I drive next to the football field I’ll remember the blood, sweat and tears we shed organizing the Oktoberfest. And the next time I get through the school gate, I’ll feel an inevitable pain knowing that those times are over, because now I’m just an honorary member of that place.
I’m grateful for the good, which is worth remembering, and the bad that made me grow.
For you, my friends made along the way. (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)
Friends who accept me for the weird, fashion loving, crazy dancer, intense, corny, complicated person that I am. Thanks for having my back and telling me what I need to hear, even if it’s harsh.
I’d like to thank my parents too, because despite everything, they’ve ALWAYS BEEN THERE. EVERY. SINGLE. STEP OF THE WAY. Seriously, there’s no words to describe how lucky and loved I feel for having them by my side.
The moment I’ve feared for months has finally come. I’m no longer seeing familiar faces daily and the fact that life will lead us to different paths is finally sinking in. Nevertheless, I hope that we’ll be able to make a little time to grab lunch and catch up. And that with the ones who leave, a regular face-timing session becomes tradition.
A few months back I wrote this: Without farewell there wouldn't be the joy of a reunion to rememorize everything we've been true. I really hope that each one of these makes justice to the great times we are leaving behind.
Thanks people, I truly love you.
Love, Roberta Woodworth