By Kelly Laske
Everyone always tells you that your high school career flies by. Cherish the time, parents and teachers typically say, because it will be over in the blink of an eye. I, like many others, shook it off. Just a couple days ago, I had a moment where I realized how fast the time went. They were right.
The end did not hit me gradually this year. It hit me all at once, long after the college decisions become official and the yearbooks were given out. One day at the end of May, I had just finished parking my car in B-Lot at Branford High School, the lot I’ve been parking at since my junior year. I slammed my door shut and I looked around. For some odd reason this is where I think I finally and fully realized it. It’s the end. Like many of my fellow seniors, the panic started to set in.
When I walked into school that day, I tried to take it all in because I’m never going to be able to do this the same way ever again. It won’t be my last time in the building, but I’ll be a graduate, or even weirder, an alumni. These past few weeks I’ve been standing on the balcony more. I’m not looking off so much at the rest of the school, but more so at my classmates.
I can’t get over how much people have changed. Some of us have gone to school together since we were 5, but many of us joined together at Walsh Intermediate School. It always fascinates me how three elementary schools can mesh so rapidly. We all became one in 2004, and now it is 2012. Eight years later, we are all so different. We may all have different groups of friends or be involved in different sports. Yet, the fact that we are all in the same grade in the small town of Branford somehow binds us all together. It always will.
Now, when I sign yearbooks, I stop and think before I write. It isn’t like past years where we could write, “Have a great summer and see you next year!” because the scary thing is, we won’t be seeing each other next year. That is what scares me the most; separation from the people I grew up with. At the senior class picnic at Holiday Hill, I couldn’t help but laugh as I my peers united for the tug-of-war contest. An even greater sight was seeing the rest of my classmates lined up next to them, screaming their heads off, cheering for their grade. Just four years ago we attended Holiday Hill as timid 8th graders who were scared to go to high school. Now we are seniors, ready to go off into the bigger, scarier real world.
But as the days go on, and as graduation gets closer, I can’t help but feel grateful for the time I’ve had at Branford High School. I met smart, caring, conscientious, considerate, and funny people who I know are going to succeed in this world. Yes, this is the end, but I’d also like to look at it as the beginning. We are all going our separate ways but will always have something in common. We were in this together. We went on this journey together and that journey is now ending. But we are, and always will be, the Branford High School Class of 2012.