So Long, Farewell

Anu Korukonda ‘16

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To students of Ridge High School:

On March 11th, the 100 day countdown to graduation officially began. Seniors rushed to the cafeteria to collect their bags that had Swedish Fish, Twizzlers, M&Ms, Mini Oreos, Snickers, Twix, and, of course, the beloved gift cards to Chipotle (or Dunkin Donuts or Bella’s Burger Shack). As I carefully picked up a bag that had mini Oreos and M&Ms (my favorite), an important realization entered my mind: Holy macaroni, I am a senior!?!

For the first time, I felt that a field of uncertainty lay ahead of me. With college decisions coming the following week, I nervously thought about what the future had in store for me. The insecure feelings then flooded in. I wondered, in four years, what have I accomplished? Have I actually tried my best? What have I learned about myself?

Everyone remembers their first day of high school. As for me, I felt like a midget, roaming aimlessly in the hallways and being overshadowed by my incredibly tall peers. I felt like I was playing a game. Some days I thrived, but the other days, not so much. Even so, I worked diligently, just like every other youngling. I let fate decide how I would fare. After many sleepless nights, I then realized that positivity always comes your way when you believe in yourself and work hard. You learn from the journey. It is the journey that helps you overcome the hurdles in your way. It is the journey that shines a bright light over your future path. It is the journey that lets you rise as an individual.

Ridge taught me to preserve my individuality. I never found myself drowning in a sea of “me.” My parents handed me the torch to lead my own life. My friends never ceased to inspire me. We always call the world after high school the “real world.” However, in my mind, they are the same. Like in the high school world, you continue to learn and adapt in the real world.

I am a staunch supporter of the ‘journey’ that opens your eyes to yourself. You are a composition of your experiences. In simple words, what you do is who you are. I still find myself trying to figure out who I am. A road of confusion and ambiguity stares at me right now – but I want to believe that I can take that step.

The human mind is innately curious. Echoing How I Met Your Mother character Barney Stinson’s “I GOTS TO KNOW” attitude, our minds will engineer some way to figure out the unknown. So, do not fret. No matter what happens, you will truly find yourself. You will resolve the lingering uncertainty.

And your life is going to be “LEGEN– waitforit –DARY”.

So long, farewell and “may the Force be with you” (Yoda style).

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