By Eleni Pappas
It is nearing that time of every school year for certain upperclassman. Not only a time of new beginnings, but sadly of goodbyes. Friends who have been together for years parted as one is headed away for graduation and college. Once again the underclassmen say farewell to their senior brethren and plan how they are to keep in touch till they themselves graduate and move beyond the high school experience.
As they leave behind high school, the seniors say goodbye to friends and step out of their comfort zones.
“I am excited about graduation and I cannot believe that this is happening so quickly. But I am also sad to leave my best friends behind, because without them I can not be weird around them and silly. And without them I would not be where I am today,” said senior Bethany Buskirk.
Some of the seniors even give mention to the friends they’ll miss, and credit them with their elevated journey through these past few years. Even from college they hope to uphold this tight bond.
“I will dearly miss the Lowneys. Anna and Claire have vastly improved my high school experience and I hope I will get to visit them at Notre Dame,” said senior Sophie Lyons.
As many graduating seniors may know, the struggle to get to this point has been trying. Having to deal with much including the famed “senioritis,” students have simple but understandable hopes for their younger friends.
“I hope they’ll have a better GPA than I have as I’m leaving,” said senior Garrett Schlaegel with a laugh.
Some seniors had some inspirational things to say.
“To all my friends I am leaving behind as underclassmen, go out of your comfort zone and make friends with people you never imagined you would have before. It’s the most amazing thing, it opens your eyes so much,” said senior Avery Wohlleb.
But these goodbyes aren’t forever, as now students plan how they will keep in touch and remain connected.
“I plan on visiting, hanging out, going on friendly dates, and chilling out with friends maybe while they’re not working or need to ditch school,” said Schlaegel.
While even as they plan to see each other when they can, there’s something to say about how it was in school everyday.
“A couple things I will miss most about my friends are seeing them everyday, their smiles, their laughs, all of us being weird, and seeing them everyday during lunch,” said Buskirk.
With the seniors parting these friends, it’s quite similar to saying goodbye to family.
“Last year we did not really know each other like we do this. This year we have grown closer together and I feel like I am a sister to all of them,” said Buskirk.
Among some of the seniors the dynamic is quite different from sibling. Even so more parent-like.
“I’m less of an older sibling and more of the mom of my friend group, but like a cool soccer mom.” said Lyons.
The underclassmen had a few things to say as well on those they’ll miss.
“There will definitely be senior friends I’m going to miss a lot when they graduate. I’ll do my best to stay in contact with them but I know it’ll be a challenge now that they are taking the next step into life,” said junior Jaden Fish.
These juniors, sophomores, and freshman also express what voids will be left to fill in the wake of the senior’s graduation.
“They taught me important lessons about me as a person and me as an actor, and I’ll be losing a trio of mentors and idols when they graduate. It was more of a mentor-apprentice kind of relationship at first, but I did become close enough to consider them friends,” said sophomore Cooper Pennington.
These students also express how successful they know their senior friends are going to be.
Junior Dustin Swain said he knows his friends are smart and predicts they’ll survive no matter what and end up big shot CEOs or the like someday.
As the end grows increasingly near, the underclassmen share mixed emotions of saying goodbye.
“I have complicated feelings about them graduating. On one hand, I’m so happy they got through school and succeeded. On the other hand, I feel like I’m being left behind. I’m going to miss them so much but I know I need to let them go to start their lives. I can only hope we can one day meet again and become even better friends than we are now,” said Fish.
As they move to the next chapter of their lives, seniors leave pieces of advice for the underclassmen.
“Senior year is stressful, but get as involved with school functions as possible. Go to FCDM, join an intramural team, the bowling team, go to ball games, and make new friends; I am so glad I did because now I have something awesome to look back on forever,” said Wohlleb.
Then last of all, the seniors put their own interesting twist on goodbye.
“Like in El Dorado, the song by Elton John, Friends Never Say Goodbye, so I’m not going to say goodbye I’m just going to say see you later,” said Schlaegel.
The graduation ceremony ends, caps are thrown into the air and cheers resound as a huddle of best friends- graduates and underclassmen alike- come to together in a suffocating group hug.
Music plays as tears of sadness and joy are shed, and shrieks of excitement and melancholic goodbyes are exchanged. These people are family, and it’s easy to forget this really isn’t a permanent farewell, but a see you soon type of deal. Go forth seniors, and conquer. The little guys will be all right.