My high school experience did not live up to my irrational High School Musical fantasy… and that is okay. 

From a young age, the media has fed us TV shows and movies that display 

unrealistic expectations as to what “the high school experience” is really like. Shows and movies always highlight the stereotypical “fun” aspects of high school like football games, pep rallies, relationships, school dances, parties, etc., and tend to leave out the not-so-fun aspects like the stressful workload, standardized testing, the intimidating college application process, and much more. 

Walking into Malden High on my first day of freshman year, I figured high school would not be as glamorous as High School Musical made it out to be. I knew students would not be singing and dancing to “We’re All in This Together” in the school gym, but I did not expect the not-so-fun aspects of high school to be as overwhelming as they were. 

As overwhelming as it was at times, the unforgettable memories my friends and I have made along the way have made the hardships worthwhile. From the early morning Dunkin runs before school started to the late night Junior Varieties rehearsals right before COVID-19 lockdowns were enforced. 

Through taking Blue and Gold, I was able to strengthen my friendship with two people I had known for practically my entire life. Those two people being my best friends and fellow Editors-in-Chief, Jennica Ruan and Sandra Rivadeneira. Prior to joining Blue and Gold, we were no more than acquaintances that acknowledged each other's existence. It did not take long for us to become close friends both inside and outside the classroom. 

During our junior year, we each took on leadership positions as the Heads of Local and Sports news. As heads, we were constantly collaborating and communicating, and I found that since we were friends outside of class, it made our roles significantly easier as we were consistently talking to each other throughout the day anyway. For the entire duration of holding our head and editor leadership positions, we have always kept a balance of having fun and enjoying each other’s company in class while also being productive and holding ourselves and each other accountable. Thanks to them, I never lost that love for journalism. 

This is a surreal feeling. It simply does not feel like I should be graduating in just under one month. It feels bizarre to be able to say that I am on the brink of adulthood and the real world. 

Being that it is my last month of being a high school student, I have spent a lot of time reflecting. I remember being in sixth grade, looking at the “21” in my school email, thinking “I cannot believe I have to wait until 2021 to graduate.” Nonetheless, at the blink of an eye, here we are, in the year 2021. As cliché as it sounds, time really does fly by. 

It feels as if I have spent my entire life looking forward and counting down to the day that I can finally finish high school. But as that day approaches, I find myself growing more and more nervous, specifically about how I will handle my last day of high school emotionally. 

At this current moment I feel conflicted. I am not exactly sure if I am excited or sad about wrapping up my high school career. On one hand, I am sad to conclude this chapter of my life and leave the place where I have experienced so much self-growth and self-discovery. While on the other hand, I am excited to not be bombarded with tons of school work. That is, of course, until I start college in the fall. 

I think it is safe to say that I am having a difficult time comprehending the fact that this is all coming to an end extremely soon. This makes me question: am I genuinely just shocked by how fast time has passed by or do I not want to say goodbye? 

I always feared this idea of saying goodbye, because goodbyes feel so final and permanent. Goodbyes symbolize leaving something behind. More than anything I have dreaded having to say goodbye to the amazing teachers and friends that have got me to where I am today. 

Nevertheless, it is not something I can avoid for much longer. At the time I am writing this, the Class of 2021 only has three days left, so those goodbyes are right around the corner. 

Although my high school experience is ending on a very unexpected note, I am grateful and appreciative of the experiences and lessons that I have learned throughout my four years at Malden High. I have gone through more personal growth in these past four years than I ever have in my life. As much as I dread the goodbyes, I am ecstatic for what is to come in the future, and it is time to write the next chapter of my life. 

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