Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Ava, Maya, Kelsey, myself, Sara, and Bryn soft-smiling it for the camera before graduation. We have ourselves fun, however sweaty, photoshoot in Sara's backyard.
Photo by Kris Izenstark
KJP Bracelet  // Lilly Pulitzer Dress // Similar Wedges

Myself and my coveted acceptance letter
Photo by Michael Redsrone
On the very first day of high school freshman year, I walked into the choir room with no idea what I was getting myself into. Mr. Wallace, an enthusiastic, smiley young man with a hairdo full of product greeted us and handed us a sheet of music to learn, entitled The Glenbrook Loyalty Song. He said to us something along the lines of, "This is the first piece of music you will learn here at GBN, and the last thing you'll do as a student here," explaining that we sing at the very end of the graduation ceremony.

Fast forward (it was, indeed, fast) four years and I was standing on the edge of that stage gurgling out the words "you'll find us always true" through tears. It was incredibly emotional and powerful.

Just a gal and her cap
Photo by Michael Redstone

High school is the kind of environment that tends to be hated or loved, and I experienced both. During most of my underclassmen years, I still hadn't fully figured out who I was or what I wanted to be. I definitely made some mistakes, big and small. But once I hit junior year, my love for GBN increased exponentially.

It's so easy to hate school. It's so, so easy to say, "screw school spirit, I'm gonna leave the Loyalty Day assembly early," or "when will I ever use this in the real world?" or "I hate everyone here and can't wait to leave." The words roll right off the tongue, and I unfortunately heard them pretty often in high school. I absolutely uttered them once or twice too. But what changed was my attitude.
Nothing quite like a cake with all of the colleges you and
your best friends will be headed too.
Photo by Linda Redstone

Wearing green and gold or dressing up for spirit days does not make you some kind of weird, over-spirited loser. It shows that you're carefree, spirited, and you want to be involved in your school community. There's nothing like walking down the hall on USA day and seeing the whole school decked out in red white and blue.

My parents saved my life about a million times in high school.
Photo by Kris Izenstark 
As for the "real world" stuff, that's an entire different blog post tackling the major issues of our education system. Something for another time. But I will say, do what you can. You can't control that you need however many math classes to graduate, so why bother complaining about it when it is not in your power? (I know that's easier said than done, but just a thought for a spark of change). All that does is bring you down. When you have choice in your classes, choose what interests you. Not what will look good on a college app!!! This education is yours and yours alone.

The people are the best part of high school. I know, I know, but stick with me for a minute here. I know it's not the same everywhere, but I went to preschool and graduated high school with some of the same kids. Watching everyone grow, mature, and find a path for their future was such a cool thing to see. But beyond that, each and every person has silly little nuances and ideas and talents. People are amazing and high school classrooms are no exception. There of course will be people we can't get along with, but all I'm asking is that everyone is given a chance.

High school was a rollercoaster for me, but I honestly would not change a single thing. Graduating was emotional, but I'm so excited for college. I didn't truly understand "bittersweet" until now.

Goodbye yellow brick road, indeed.

Girls at my school, in unspoken tradition, wear white for graduation. 
The end of an era and a beautiful clean slate ahead of us. 
Photo by Michael Redstone


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