Warrior Words: Say goodbye

Each passing day brings the members of the class of 2018 one step closer to graduation. And while this day of moving tassels and throwing hats is romanticized as a significantly positive milestone in many young lives, it also brings with it the sobering reality of the end of the life we have known for the past four years. Most people eventually accept the inevitability of leaving friends behind to pursue whatever post-high school plans they have chosen. Leaving friends and acquaintances behind is simply a given, so there is no point in considering it for too long. A far more complicated matter, one that determines the sincerity and gravity of our high school relationships, is recognizing who we will see again.

Wandering down the halls of the school as anticipation of the nearing internship rises, one may hear “Don’t forget to visit” or “Don’t be a stranger” followed by a giddy senior waving goodbye to a teacher or counselor. It is exciting to think that attending college or beginning a job offers the best of both worlds: we can start on a new adventure and always have the opportunity to return home and reminisce with familiar faces. Yet that excitement is often curbed by a somber realization that most of the people we’ve lived with for our high school careers, and possibly even earlier, we will never see again. No doubt you won’t go out of your way to visit that one guy in that one friend group with whom you shared a class. But what about that teacher who you had fun with in class and she said to visit or the friends you have shared classes with but never spent time together outside of school?

Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between genuineness and politeness when caught up in the excitement of future prospects. In the joy of the moment, we genuinely believe that during winter break we will come back and see every single person who we left behind and that nothing will have changed since we left. However, a new batch of freshmen come in and a new class of students replaces the previous one. If I were to visit every single person who said I could visit, at least half of them would be shocked that I came, and of them probably half would be irritated. Put frankly, probably not everyone who says I should visit means it. And while this may not be true for every senior who graduates from high school and leaves home, I don’t believe this is uncommon. While this might be upsetting in theory, in practice it is somewhat relieving.

Based on my experience with my older brother between family, work, vacations, and other trips, the time that college students have when they return home is limited. Too limited to reconnect with all of our closest friends and most loved teachers, let alone everyone we miss. So figuring out who to visit is a game of priorities with a high price. It tests us to figure out which relationships we value the most. I can make a list of people who I will sincerely miss that would be far too long to get through in one or two breaks. Yet rather than spending my last months with friends and teachers daunted by choices I will have to make in the future, I will make the most of this limited time and enjoy being with them now.

Tor Aronson is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with five classmates.

Tor Aronson is a senior in high school. He shares this column with five classmates.