The Friday that first semester ended I anticipated the festivities and none-too-rare screams of “SENIOR SEASON,” but the crippling realization that in less than six months I will leave the life I’ve known for the past six years crept up on me faster than every term paper and essay I’ve ever written.
After high school, my best friend will move to Scotland, a rough 3,000 miles away. Friends I’ve known for a decade and friends I’ve made this year will be on the other side of the country; at best, my co-editor since freshman year will be states away.
The thought of traversing awkward orientations, history exams and treasured late night talks without them is a foreign idea I don’t want to entertain.
But while I know my best friends will be just a FaceTime away, I am leaving all of you, too. Maybe we took a selfie at some house party in October, or we gripped hands hurtling down the Goliath ride together during the eighth grade Six Flags trip. Maybe I fell off your trampoline at your pool party in seventh grade, or you are that one person who’s been in my math class every year. Whether our friendship has faded, or we’ve never really liked each other much, the fact that six years of memories, however small, is ending, feels a lot like I’m ending a relationship I’ll never get back.
While my revelation may have come because part of me is looking for an excuse to be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it can only really be explained by the scary yet somewhat endearing realization that, dare I say it, I have come to love all of you, love having a community and love who I have become because of it.
While it obviously hasn’t been perfect, for all the breakups, rumors, tears and tribulations, six years has created a support system I can always count on, a system that will accept me, flaws and all.
I won’t ever again simultaneously argue and laugh with Henry and my staff during hours-long layouts, or look forward to Mr. Guerrero’s lame but nonetheless lovable jokes in choir. I won’t ever have “Sushi Day” with my sixth-period lunch crew, or blast old Hannah Montana on the quad with Yoko.
My beloved spot in the left back row of Taper’s bleachers will be filled by some other senior and her friends at future basketball games, and somewhere down the line there will be some other girl telling her classmates how much she loves them via a Chronicle article. This year is filled with too many ends, but all of these small moments will always live on in memory.
It’s a painful truth that we will be leaving Harvard-Westlake, Class of 2016, a harsh reality I have long been denying. And although eventually we will move on and become the Class of 2020, make new life-long bonds and inevitably change, I am forever thankful for the way each and every one of you has shaped me, for the good and the bad.
For the few months we have left together before college, I will revel daily in being a part of the healthiest, most committed relationship I will probably have for a while, because I know it’s soon coming to an end, and I won’t ever get it back.