By Kevin Coleman
For years we walked in hallways; walking alongside one another, but all walking our own ways. All this time you may have never looked twice at the variety of faces passing by, but now they regress into only memories. Together we await our timely dismissal, freedom so close we can taste it. Sadly we fail to foresee the bittersweet taste of change that is to devour our taste buds while the Class of 2014 takes their final walk on graduation day.
High school was a lengthy experience that would not have been possible without the previous years of education leading up to it. Plenty of years were spent in school before the ninth grade, but none of those years quite compare to the four years of high school. In recollection of my closing days of eighth grade, leaving middle school could not have come any sooner. Summer concluded, and my time in high school had arrived. Though flush with nerves, high school seemed to be the dynamic social experience that life was leading up to. Now that it is over, I speak in retrospect of that which could have been.
I could have joined the band, and helped in their success. I could have learned a language, and travelled across the sea. I could have played a sport, and gotten strong and healthy. I could have done my homework, and made the honor roll. Though all of these missed opportunities fill me with regret, this regret is short lived. All the choices I have made and the friendships I have fostered in my years at Walled Lake Central are solely responsible for the way that I think today, and that is the most important outcome of the high school experience.
The past years have taught me that the true objective of education should be to teach students not what to think, but how to think. Spectacular grades can come from a person that does not question established thoughts but rather passively accepts information as the truth. This person does not know how to think, but since they can display that they have learned what to think, they are treated as a genius. Albert Einstein said that it is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education, and that is because school seems to have an answer for everything.
And now, the Class of 2014 approaches the finish line. A line followed swiftly by a fork in the road. At this fork, we question which path will lead us to happiness. Some take the path towards riches, a presumably material journey. Others long for integrity, so they courageously fight for their country. Most of us go on to only fill roles, and in those roles nurture a family. From a family a child grows up through his schooling, completing the cycle of life.
The hours spent within these walls have always felt like years, but somehow we survived it. Whether it was our favorite music feeding our ears, or careless laughs shared with our peers, the days would always entertain. As freshmen, our class was composed of so many. When some were lost along the way, others filled their places. High school has taught us a lot. The core academics, along with the variety of electives offered, but also an entirely different field of information that cannot be learned from a book. These lessons were not taught by teachers in classrooms, but rather learned alongside the students that helped each other figure it out.
We were the teachers all along, and no one even knew. Lessons like relationships, friendships and feuds; all carried out with our peers. We may not have all become friends, but I hope at least we are acquainted. Bittersweet best defines the feeling of finishing high school. If another year was offered, I surely would decline it. But as I take my final steps through Walled Lake Central’s halls, I’ll feel the pit within my stomach and wonder where the time went.