Tonight I Graduate

It is currently 3.25 pm eastern standard time. I am sitting on the couch watching TV, still in the clothes I wore to bed last night. In roughly one hour and fifteen minutes I must be at my high school in my cap and gown, ready to board the bus to the PPL Center for my graduation. Honestly, I am unsure of how I should feel about this. Since middle school I have been waiting impatiently to graduate, to get this shit over with once and for all. I could not wait to get away from all of the drama and choose a school I truly want to go to for college, taking classes I chose for the major I chose. Choosing what I want to do with my life and being independent has always been big for me I suppose.

But now that I sit here waiting to leave for the bus, I think back at my school career and how much of an impact these 12 years or so have had on me. I look back at my younger self and see just how much I have grown. From being that anorexic-looking kid with a buzz cut to the goth/emo weirdo of ninth grade, I cannot stop myself from laughing. But I also admire how much I truly have overcome in all of these years. How I have gone from having a ton of friends in elementary school to only having one or two in middle school to, yet again, only having a few close friends in high school with many coming and going. From being bullied majorly in eighth and ninth grade and suffering depression and anxiety since them. Yet I made it through all of this pain, coming out as a much stronger person.

I have gone through a lot more than I had ever thought I would have to during my school career. But nothing that I have gone through has stopped me from becoming a person that I am happy to have become. Just like everyone else I have made many mistakes in my life. Just like everyone else, I have done things I wish I had not and that caused me to lose friends. None of this has led to me becoming weak and shutting down completely, however. No matter how hard it has become, I have persevered and pushed past the pain, knowing that someday the worth of it all would be shown.

Tonight I graduate.

The feeling is truly surreal. Although I say that I will not miss high school, will not miss the people or most the teachers, I know that it is a lie. No, I definitely will not miss some of the teachers who did not know what they were doing. No, I will not miss most the people I have dealt with in school for many – truth be told – I do not even know. But I will miss the experiences I have gone through within my high school. I will miss the opportunities I have had, the teachers who inspired me, who helped me grow. I will miss my guidance counselors who have helped me in my times of need. I will miss the friends I have made – even if we no longer talk – who have revealed to me who I really am. Hell, I will even miss the people who have hurt me most as they have helped me the most as well. So when I say that I will not miss high school, know that I am not being completely honest.

Tomorrow I get my diploma, medical records and whatever else my high school gives me.

Tomorrow I start a new life as college looms. August 24th I move into my dorm and begin another four or five year school career as I find myself even further, as I figure out how I want the rest of my life to play out.

But tonight…tonight I graduate. And the feeling is so damn surreal.

Thank You

Cody Schultz