EmmaKenfield, Features Editor
College is historically known as the place you’re supposed to find yourself outside from the life you’ve always known. High school is a cycle of the same people doing the same things, and while I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, I have always been obsessed with the challenge of starting over. That idea is appealing to many high schoolers here; we are so secluded in this town that we are itching to escape it. In order to do this, though, there has to be a part of you that lets go of what you’ve become so used to. How do you balance keeping close with those you know so well at home, while opening yourself up enough to start a new life somewhere else?
By senior year, your friends mean much more to you than you could have ever hoped. Without realizing it, you wake up one day and realize that those people became part of “home,” part of your everyday routine, and part of you. I personally have found myself in a group of friends so spectacularly fitting that I couldn’t imagine going through life with anyone else. High school allows you to find yourself with the people most like you, who understand you better than any other. College, though, forces you to break away from that.
I have always wanted to go somewhere far; the idea of starting new has never left my mind. However, it has always been an idea. It is easy to say that “one day” you’ll do it all: move away, begin a new life with different people. I have come to the realization that this day so far away in my mind is approaching faster than I could have ever anticipated, and it is only going to get more real as time goes on. No matter how hard it is to talk about, the unavoidable truth is that in less than a year, all of us will be walking along different streets, possibly in different states, leading entirely new lives.
The thing is, though, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a reason that we’ve grown to care about one another so much, and that isn’t simply to throw it all away in the end. It is true: you can’t enjoy your future if you’re holding on to the past. I think that it is ultimately the best thing for all high schoolers to have to learn to grow on our own, away from what we’ve become so accustomed to. People are going to change; how can you remain the same with so many aspects of your life being altered? Those people don’t forget where they came from, though. As unsettling as it may be at first, I believe that once the initial fear settles, and we’ve all found our new place in the world, the people who meant the most all these years will not disappear forever. Coming home will only be more exciting, times with them will only be more cherished, and those who were originally our high-school friends will ultimately become our lifelong friends. So, don’t be afraid to look forward to something new and exciting. College is supposed to be the best years of our lives– live them that way and don’t regret it.