A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Featured, Opinion

Count the hours

15,120 hours of grade school. 2,160 nights of homework. 840 tests. 410 classmates. Uncountable selfies. Infinite memories. Almost zero days left. Students count the days; 17, 16, 15, and so on, until suddenly they’re down to single digits – few enough to count on their fingers.

While their excitement for days at the beach and spending hours with their friends builds, many forget a critical part of graduating: saying goodbye.

Each day, high school seniors walk past classmates and teachers they have known for years, some even their whole lives, but many don’t even say hello let alone goodbye as the number of hours left in school shrink closer to zero. Do they realize that they might never see some of these people again?

Many students are too focused on their closest friends, who they will remain in touch with, to realize that their hundreds of other classmates will no longer be passing by them in the hall and these are their last few days to say goodbye.

“It’s so strange to think that I’ve been with some of these people since first grade! That was so long ago, and soon I might not see them again ever!” Ellie Broadbent exclaimed when imagining graduation day.

These people in the halls are who shared your “firsts” with you: first locker, first field trip, first ‘F,’ first slow dance, first kiss, first relationship, first breakup, and so much more.

Your classmates and teachers helped and watched you grow. You sang next to them at school concerts, played on the playground with them at recess, shared notes with them before tests, and danced next to them at school dances.

Don’t let the days slip by and miss your chance to thank those who helped you succeed, supported you when you needed it, and celebrated with you when you earned it.

Teachers who wrote letters of recommendations, stayed after school to explain a challenging subject, and guided you in becoming who you are today, deserve at least a thank you before you walk across the stage with your diploma in hand.

As Sarah Dessen, a famous author, once said, “I’d long ago learned not to be picky in farewells. They weren’t guaranteed or promised. You were lucky, more than blessed, if you got a good-bye at all.”

Once you leave Memorial Field on June 21, who knows when you will see “that kid in the back of Math” or “that guy” who sits next to you in English? This is your chance to say farewell! Whatever you do, don’t leave high school with any regrets. Say goodbye before the hours run out.

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