CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Locker combinations and crushes, extra credit and unfair treatment, friendships and heartache, books as heavy as bricks, awkwardness; for 13 years, this has been life. School is our job, our sanctuary, our prison.
The last four years has determined who we are, molded our insights, given us view into ourselves and matured us (as much as high school can). Most of us have reached adulthood.
Soon, we will no longer call ourselves children. Breaks won't come as often. Spare time will be hard to come by. Clothes will not appear at the foot of the stairs freshly laundered, and the smell of hot food will not waft under the crack of the bedroom door. There will be bills to pay, loans to take out, late night studying and work to pay for that studying.
But still, we made it. We've survived the pecking order of high school, gym class, peer pressure, sports, dating, driving and tardy slips. It's over. Congratulations class of 2013!
Now we begin to make our mark upon the world. Now we are officially people. Ramen noodle eating, minimum wage making people, but still taxpaying citizens all the same. Now we can move out of the nest and begin to make mistakes anew while we learn how the world really works out from under our parents' wings.
However, we have learned a thing or two in our time so far.
I took on the assignment "What do seniors think is the most important thing they learned in high school?" because I thought it would yield some entertaining answers. Surprisingly, though, everyone I asked gave serious thought to their response and gave honest answers.
Here are some illuminating responses from seniors at high schools across Putnam County:
"To not let opinions of others influence your self-image." - Lindsey Bledsoe, Winfield
"To stay determined. If you truly learn how to persevere through the rough times, it's the most rewarding feeling when you make it out on top." - Brooke Thaxton, Buffalo
"Life passes by your eyes, and you need to have more memories of smiling, laughing and loving than any other." - Lacie Hatfield, Winfield
"Have a good sense of humor. Don't take life too seriously; no one makes it out alive." - Keree Moles, Poca
"To interact with people and make a dream or an idea a reality. We've got to love each other for who we are, or we'll never get anywhere." - Jillian Carney, Winfield