For one brief but exhausting week, I had my friends. We were given seven days to eat Chick-Fil-A, drink several gallons of water (as a result of a purchase mistake at Target) and be merry around the Eden Resort and Hotel. And we nearly did it all.
Other years, Veritas Press’s End of the Year Gathering felt like a whirlwind of events and wardrobe changes. But this time, it was just a week to be with friends and to do normal teenager-y type of things, which we couldn’t do while living thousands of miles apart. Yes, such things included wandering aimlessly around a mall.
Graduation was surreal. I sat in the back of my friend’s car listening to my done-with-exams anthem, “Domino” by Jessie J, when I realized I was heading to the last event of my high school career. The thrill was electric, as we donned our royal blue gowns and shuffled into the overcrowded lady’s room to adjust our caps. Not only was I marching behind teachers who had graded pages and pages of my work, but I was walking beside friends who had helped me through nervous break downs and directional derivative problems. Personally knowing more than two-thirds your graduating class makes the listening to the long list of names much more interesting. I had the privileged of sitting behind and staring at the feet of two of my best friends as they gave their valedictorian and salutatorian speeches. I was so proud. And despite how clichéd family graduation photos can be, I made sure I had some. They felt oddly important to me.
Some kids mentioned that they didn’t feel any different after the ceremony. And for some, this was their second time through with the tassle-hassle. However, once I took a hold of that diploma and that Bible something changed. I felt relief. It was done.
And though I grieve that many of those people I shared that week and ceremony with I won’t see again, I am grateful to have known them, and I am certain that I have established friendships which God has given me for life. I will miss you Veritas and friends, but not you, Calculus.