By Maddie Toole –
Starting off my senior year at North Adams High School, my emotions were a bit scrambled. During the summer, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of universities that I had interest in. These tours brought excitement towards moving onto bigger things after I finished high school. I became even more eager to begin high school and, ultimately, finish.
I was anxious to begin a new season of the sport I love– volleyball. I won’t fail to mention that I love learning (yes, seriously) and I wanted to get back into my studies as a College Credit Plus student. Summer came full circle and I eagerly approached my last year of high school. However, I knew that this was the last time I would walk through the doors of the school on the first day– this was a beginning to a long line of endings.
Once my final volleyball season came to an end, my heart was broken. I loved the sport and the girls that played next to me for four years. This was my moment of realization. Many of my classmates have had this same revelation. Chances are, if you played sports in high school, you have gone through this too. It’s that moment when your mind finally admits, “This is it. This is all you get.” This whole year has been my last hurrah– the end of what I had built up to be so important to me.
At the beginning of the year, I was so thrilled to be a senior and so was everyone around me. But after this, I knew that I needed to savor every moment I had left because it was going to hurt when it was gone. I promised myself that I would not wish away the few months I had left of high school.
It has been awhile since then. Basketball is approaching its end as well and tournaments are rolling around. Soon, I will no longer be a high school athlete. Then, I will be forced to mark senior prom off the to-do list as well. Before I can think twice, graduation morning will wake me up and I will put on my cap and gown and walk down the gymnasium floor. It is sad to think about, but that will be the last time all of my classmates and I will be gathered in the same place.
Am I sad? Of course. These years have been filled with so many good friends and an innumerable amount of good times. I would never trade my high school experience for anyone else’s. Yet, those college visits still stick in the back of my mind and they remind me of what I have to look forward to. It is clear that there are more experiences to be had, knowledge to gain, and people to meet. So am I really sad? This bittersweet ending can only be described as the beginning of something else.
Graduating high school is the beginning of becoming an aspiring young journalist or a budding news broadcaster or whatever else comes my way. As hard as it may be at times to say goodbye to the people and memories I have made playing sports and attending high school, I am thrilled to be on my way to experience all that I can in the world. As for now, I am going to enjoy all the time I have left of my high school experience. As I see my classmates so eager to graduate, I know exactly what they are feeling. But to everyone who wants to get out of here a little too quick, I want to say: don’t rush through the few moments of high school you have left, you will never get them back.
Maddie Toole is a senior in the Class of 2017 at North Adams High School