Now that we're staring the end of a very large chapter of all of our lives dead in the eyes, a lot of questions are brought to mind. First, what the hell do we do now? Second, what just happened? And third, something I would like to focus on most, what would we have done differently?
I'm sure you've sat with a close friend late on any given evening this year and considered the latter carefully. If I could somehow flip a switch and be on the bus to my first day of freshman year once again, how would I do things? What would I change, knowing what I know now? If you could tell your freshman self, apprehensive and nervous in your beginnings as you were, any piece of wisdom that you've learned over these past four years, what would you say?
Personally, I've thought about this a lot lately. I've considered all of the experiences I've had at Gahanna Lincoln High School both inside and outside the classroom and I really haven't come up with any definitive answers to these questions. What would I change? How would I handle things differently? My first revision would definitely be something along the lines of a drastic wardrobe change early in my freshman year. But, honestly? I'm not sure what I would adjust.
One thing I've learned outside the halls and walls of Gahanna Lincoln is that any experience is good experience. Our great humanity is simple and plain and without the experience of life, both good and bad, what's to live for? If it weren't for everything you've ever lived through, would you have ever really lived? I think that the very fabric of what it means to be human is simply to experience and to learn. There isn't another place I would have liked to experience more than Gahanna, as much as I tell myself I'd love to get out of this town.
The universe has a very odd way of going about things and I think that we are all very fortunate, on a cosmic level, to find ourselves in a city like Gahanna. Our tradition and pride is effervescent. Guys, we still have a sign posted at the end of US-62 from 2007 Money Magazine that displays proudly, “Top 100 places to live.” If that doesn't speak volumes about this place, I don't know what does. Contemplate for a second just how lucky we are to be from Gahanna.
In our halls, I've stumbled upon another great life lesson. We're all well aware that our school is slightly crowded, containing more than 2000 students. The hallway is a madhouse between classes and each of us have a very determinate six minutes to hike the treacherous halls of each building, only to scale three floors to make it to the top of C building. I've been here for four years and I still can't manage to do it effectively, but I digress. We've all walked those halls, some much slower than others, in order to reach our final goal of making it to class on time. But isn't that life? Stumbling and rushing through the eternal madhouse in search of our destination? No matter how slow the group in front of you is walking, no matter how many times you get hit with the auditorium doors as a band or choir member blindly thrusts into the hall, and no matter how far your final journey's end will be, that six minutes is all you have. Life works similarly, and as seniors we're just beginning to grasp the reality of that metaphor. We're all walking the crowded halls of life, searching hopelessly as if we were a freshman on our first day who just can't seem to remember where to be during his or her fourth period class.
Here is where I've really enjoyed Gahanna Lincoln. No matter how lost we may be, or how muddled our schedules have become, or how difficult our walk to the next proverbial class, I truly believe that there is always someone that each and every student here can call on for help. Whether it's from a teacher, a fellow student, or a close friend, Gahanna is an incredibly effective support system. We are a beautiful community and I respect you all immensely for that.
Now that this year is coming to an end, with it comes the end to one period in all of our lives. What's next is really nothing different than the mad scramble that which we've grown familiar over these past four years. Where we all end up is entirely a mystery, but each of my fellow seniors should know beyond doubt that we are all more than adequately prepared for the great hallway of human existence. We will all stumble, become disoriented, and sometimes forget where we're headed entirely. But, we're Lions. We come from one of the Top 100 Places to Live, circa 2007, and a long line of tradition before then. Remember, 2014, that we may only get six minutes to get where we're going, but sometimes the time we're given is enough to count.
So, to answer the big existential questions about high school: what would I change if I could start all over? The degree of tightness of my pants, freshman year, for starters. What would I tell my freshman self? Well, you only get a certain amount of time here, kid, so buy some different pants and learn what you can. How would I have done things differently if I could do it again? I wouldn't.
Would I do it again? You're damn right.