I am not a senior, but I still want to say goodbye. I wanted to say goodbye last year, when our departing staff members wrote their farewells. I suppose I did, but not in the form of prose. I watched them weave beautiful words into startling patterns — those goodbyes admit so much more.
Today, if nostalgia is brewing, I might read the senior goodbyes of years past, locating the word ‘astrophysicists’ in Abby Lee’s final Howler article. I would feel a lump in my throat. Now that the dust has settled in this post-AP exam world, I’m moved by the memory of those remarkable graduates who have crossed paths with me.
Junior year. Every step matters, or so I used to think. Walking through those front doors for the first time in months, I acknowledged that I may falter, and that would be okay. In actuality, I never had to test my commitment to this new mantra — I’m grateful for that, but I know someday I’ll need to. Until then, I can pay tribute to my older, wiser friends, who gave me guidance and happiness along the way. With you, by my side, I moved mountains this year.
Anna and Rohan: together we make a fierce trio, saving the planet one physics problem at a time. You two have convinced me to unleash my goofy side more often — and glean all the knowledge that I can. I wish we could have another year (or two) of adventures, but you’re ready to move forward — I’m excited to see what you do. I love you both.
Ashley: I liked you the moment I met you in Science Olympiad — I hope to see that radiant smile sometime again in the future. Maybe through our careers as world-renowned herpetologists? You’ve encouraged me to strive for greatness, letting my heart take the lead. I feel brave enough to jump on stage and be seen, just like you. Please keep writing, and send me any new editorials; I will read every one of them.
Abigail: A dim sunlight diffused in the clouds as we chatted by the lake’s edge. I had let go for once. There was no homework, just a shiny evening spent with someone I care deeply about. You’re the reason I feel grounded, Abbey. I’m not afraid of failure anymore, because I glimpse every day how strong, soulful and savvy you are, even in the throes of teenage stress. I’ve learned to enjoy a fuller life and still focus on a bright future. Thank you for your indelible friendship. I’m always here for you.
Class of 2020: I wish you could have had a more exciting send-off, but what you’ve achieved up until now will propel you a long way. You made it! Congratulations graduates, and don’t forget your friends and mentors. We are shaped by them. I know I am.