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A Teen's View

Highschool Graduate

Olivia Sielaff

(5/11) Before I sat down to write this article today, my mom asked me what I would miss the most about highschool. Would it be the uniforms? My teachers? Pizza days? After pausing for a few seconds, I said that I didnít really know. Itís not that Iím apathetic about leaving my highschool years behind; itís just that I havenít taken the time to reflect on the past four years of my life. I figure now might be a good time to do just that.

My highschool years havenít been what one would expect. I didnít go to public school, private school, or even Catholic school. Iíve actually been homeschooled since kindergarten. Gasp! Moreover, from 8th grade until now Iíve been attending a hybrid school called Christiana Homeschool Academy (CHA for short). Thatís the unexpected part. However, itís basically the same set-up as any school except itís only two days a week, so Iím still considered Ďhomeschooledí by the state. We have uniforms, teachers, crazy-hair days, prom, honor roll, etc. Contrary to popular belief, I am quite a normal highschooler. But I digress.

So what am I going to miss about being a homeschooled highschooler? Sleeping in late every morning? Doesnít happen. Staying in my pajamas all day? No thanks. Being bugged by my little brother? Thatís a possibility. However, all jokes aside, there are two aspects I will really miss.

As the date of my graduation has been quickly approaching, Iíve been taking on more responsibilities as a young adult and for my future education. As a freshman and sophomore all that really mattered was finishing assignments while finding ways to manage my time for family and friends. Then as a junior, I needed to start thinking about college and jobs. Finally senior year was full of classes that were required to be completed, school events had to be organized, and college applications and interviews needed checked off my list of Ďto-do before I graduate.í As I grew from a little teenager to a young adult, my list of responsibilities grew with me. In some ways I am going to miss not having to worry about so many things at once. Every year, more has been expected of me at school and at home. While I see that as a beneficial part of growing up, itís also an unwelcome part of letting go of my childhood carefree days. However, it must happen at some point, and I am prepared to be more independent and responsible.

I will also dearly miss my friends as we all go our separate ways to college. After spending four years with my close friends, I think it will take a while to get used to not seeing them every week. Weíve shared so many great times with each other at parties, school outings, football games, sleepovers, dances, and just plain old school days. My senior classmates and I (all five of us) have watched the past seniors graduate and start college life (weíve learned a few tips from them, too). I thought this year I would be quite miserable since most of my friends had already graduated from CHA, except for my classmates; I mean, who wants to hang out with the freshmen and sophomores? On the contrary, senior year has been the best of my highschool years! Besides the fact that our teachers treat us more like adults, we also get to lead many of the school events. Also, thereís prom, senior pranks, goofing off in study hall, graduation, and all of the other perks that come with being a senior. Plus, weíre able to drive ourselves to friendsí houses, increasing our chances of seeing each other outside of school. But all of the fun times spent with friends and the new adventures that come along with senior year still remind me of the fact that highschool is almost overÖ

Without a doubt, I wouldnít trade my highschool years for anything else. All of the things Iíve learned, all of the friends Iíve made, and all of the good times weíve had, made me into the person I am today. Four years ago, I wouldnít have expected to grow and mature in such a short time; itís crazy to see the difference a few years, and a few more responsibilities, can make. But I canít imagine having spent these past four years of my life any other way. Everything Ė school, friends, family, happy days, rough spots Ė theyíve all lead me here to my graduation from highschool.

Sure, Iím pleased with my grades, and yes, Iím ecstatic that Iíll be going to the college I want to. But right now, especially this last year, those arenít the things that have been most important to me. I only get to experience highschool once, and the greatest thing I could have done was to build solid friendships and improve my character. And Iím so happy to say that Iíve done just that throughout highschool. Even though I will make new friends and keep growing into an independent young person, I am going to truly miss everything about being a homeschooled highschooler over these four years. But I will always have my memories and treasure the positive impression it has made on me for the rest of my life.

Read other articles by Olivia Sielaff