You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

Justine Seligson, Photo Coordinator

As I write this article, I am in the midst of my senior internship. It’s been awhile since I was rushing from class to class and actually taking notes. I find myself with very mixed feelings. I’m almost done with high school, so I should be jumping for joy, right?

Well, not really. Since the last two weeks of school, when my peers, myself included, were talking nonstop about internships, summer plans, college and so on and so forth, I came to a realization. It was the realization that this upcoming last day of school was not like the past last days. This was going to be the last of last days and definitely something significant. It was a time to reflect upon my experience in this school system over the last 13 years (yes, I am one of the originals).

I’ll be honest. For the past couple of years, I’ve held a pretty jaded attitude towards Staples and, in general, Westport. I’ve complained about the competitive attitudes, superficiality and other aspects that make up the core of the Westport stereotype. This perspective of mine was only further enforced once I got into college and second semester took flight. I was getting so eager to just graduate and move on with my life.

But in these last few weeks of school and now during my internship as well, I’ve finally realized just that the major event of my grade finishing our time here was about to occur. A shift in how I viewed my daily schedule during these final days, as a result, changed dramatically.

Waiting in the endless line of traffic on North Avenue every morning. Always forgetting that the higher water fountain near the French classroom doesn’t work. Saying “hi” whenever I bumped into that particular teacher that I never actually had as a teacher but was still friendly with. These are just samples of the seemingly insignificant things during my Staples experience that I found myself wanting to experience a little bit longer.

Once the Class of 2015 graduates in June, we will each face very different paths. For example, some people will be heading to towns with lots of Staples representation (Ithaca, New York, I’m talking to you). Their journeys aren’t easier, but just more familiar.

I’m not in such a situation. I’m going to an area with a minimal presence of Staples alums. I’ll be lucky to see a familiar face in the prairie of Minnesota at all. Many of the people I have been accustomed to seeing nearly every day for these four years at Staples and, for some, since kindergarten, will be hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

I’ve just started to digest all this information and, well, the process is not easy. Even during my internship, I’ve missed the basic social interactions that come with each school day. Having 30-year-olds in suits instead of your friends as lunchmates is not the same.

It’s bizarre, that something I’ve been wanting to end for so long, is now one of the things, that as it truly is ending,  I cherish the most.