How to say goodbye

Kaitlin Clark, Print Editor-in-Chief

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When I sat down to write this, I realized I only had one shot. Roughly 500 words to express everything that high school has meant to me and everything that I have learned. I wasn’t sure how to do this. To be honest I’m still not sure how to write this. How do you condense every farewell you could hope to give in so few words and in such little time? Despite what I thought a few weeks ago, saying goodbye is hard to do, but it’s time for all of us to move on to the next chapter of our lives.

Growing up, I saw high school through rose-colored glasses. From outside its walls, I saw high school as a place where there were endless friends and fun. To a little girl who wanted nothing more than just that, it sounded like a dream. Truth be told, the high school experience that I imagined was only a dream, but the memories that I have made at Manhattan High are so much more than that; they are real.

The trouble with reality is that it isn’t always perfect. My time at Manhattan High wasn’t either. In fact, at the beginning of this year, I proudly proclaimed that I was not sad in the least about leaving, and that I couldn’t wait until graduation day. I still believed that was true until a few days ago, when I realized that I had so many things that I would be leaving behind. Now, I’m left with only a few days to try to figure out how to say goodbye.

Over the last year, I’ve found myself ticking off my “lasts” in high school, which has only made my final days harder as I remember each one. My last football game, my last school dance, my last school trip, my last Friday at Manhattan High. These are times that I will never get back. Moving on isn’t easy, but I firmly believe that there are even better times to come and we all must simply wait until it is their time. Part of growing up is moving on and it’s time for the next chapter for the senior class of 2019.

Saying goodbye is harder when there is so much to leave behind. For example, it dawned on me as I typed in my byline that this is the last time I’ll get to call myself the Editor-in-Chief of the Mentor. I’ve been grateful for my time in this position and even though it has included countless late nights, stressful interviews and missed deadlines, I wouldn’t wish my experiences away. It was during my time as Editor-in-Chief that I made some of my closest friends and ultimately decided what I want to do with my life when I got to college. Nearly every high school experience can be seen this way. It’s a balance of the good and the bad and the memories that we all inevitably carry.

I have never been one to look backward, so as I move on, I’ll be taking nothing but my memories with me. To the rest of the class of 2019, we’ve made it, and now it’s time for each of us to find a way to say our goodbyes and keep going. We’re all going to have a different way of doing this, whether that be tearfully on the final day or joyfully on stage at graduation, but these goodbyes are necessary for us to move on. This is mine. I am ready for whatever is waiting in my future and it’s time to say goodbye. So, for the final time, I’m Kaitlin Clark, your Editor-in-Chief, signing off.