As seniors, school can be overwhelming when teachers, counselors, and family members are constantly asking about our upcoming college decisions and options for future education.
No student wants to spend more time thinking about school unless they really have to, especially if he or she is coming down with a case of “senioritis”, much like the majority of the class of 2017. However, with our senior trip to Maui, our last CEW, our last quarter of high school and graduation fast-approaching, there is not much room to think about anything else outside of the finality of these next few months. And while many of us will be preparing for graduation parties and hanging out with close friends before everyone goes their separate ways, very few of us focus on reconciling with the people we have already drifted away from.
Would you rather look back on your time at HBA and remember the falling out you had sophomore year with one of your friends, or have the memory of reconciling and reconnecting with an old friend or classmate before graduation?
These people could be friends you had in middle school when you were the new kid, family members you recently fought with, or maybe classmates whom you never knew well, but whom you regret treating poorly or not being close with. Considering how much we’ve changed since elementary and middle school, we all most likely know people who currently fit into at least one of these categories.And while it is important to say goodbye to our friends and family, sometimes we can’t sincerely say goodbye until we reconcile, and saying goodbye shouldn’t be a way to run away from unresolved conflicts.
At Senior Camp, we were encouraged to think about “RAFT”, or reconciliation, affirmation, farewell, and think destination. While each part of RAFT holds a different significance on seniors getting ready to leave high school, reconciliation has the greatest impact on our memories at HBA. Would you rather look back on your time at HBA and remember the falling out you had sophomore year with one of your friends, or have the memory of reconciling and reconnecting with an old friend or classmate before graduation? Reconciling with others challenges us to grow as individuals and to be humble, while also benefiting everyone involved. It is also the first step towards moving on with a healthy mindset for what life after high school holds for us. And while there is no guarantee that you can reconcile with everyone you might want to, at the very least, you will be able to move on from HBA with the peace of mind that you have at least tried.
A proper farewell means finding opportunities to say goodbye to anyone we will miss when we leave HBA and anyone who has helped shape us into who we are today.
However you cope with goodbyes, saying farewell to our teachers, HBA staff, best friends, and family will soon become an omnipresent thought as we begin moving closer to our graduation.
Goodbyes are never easy. As a senior, I find myself often thinking about what saying goodbye to my parents will feel like or how holding my chihuahua or petting my cat for the last time might make me cry. However you cope with goodbyes, saying farewell to our teachers, HBA staff, best friends, and family will soon become an omnipresent thought as we begin moving closer to our graduation.
During Senior Camp, counselors asked us what family member or teacher we would each like to sit down and have lunch with before we graduate. In my deliberation process, I realized that despite never being extraordinarily close to my dad, I wanted to sit down and have lunch with him. Though I will be staying on Oahu for college, I will be moving out and becoming more independent, and I want to appreciate the time I have left as a kid.While we will still have many opportunities in the future to spend quality time with family members, our views and understanding of the world right now are still small and limited. Sitting down with an adult can help you discover what opinions exists in the world and in the people close to you. They may also have helpful insight and advice about your aspirations, opinions, and goals as you head off into adulthood.
Proper farewells should also remind us to be grateful for the memories we have, while teaching us to look ahead with optimism. In the few months we have before getting moved out of our chapel seats, our senior area, and ultimately our school, we should all spend time having lunch with friends, thanking our parents for rides to school, appreciating our teachers for dealing with our “senioritis”, and getting excited about the monumental changes we will be making in the next months. Because one day, we want to be able to look back without regret on our last few months as high schoolers.