The Last Hours


Ireri Mares

Ireri Mares, Reporter/Photo Editor

By the time a student graduates high school, they would’ve spent roughly around 18,720 hours in school. 18,720 hours spent learning and meeting people along the way. 

There are several landmarks in a person’s life which their life significantly changes. I think high school is one of them. It’s the place where I flourished and met my closest friends. The hallways though themselves monotoned, were always filled with the commotion of the students bringing to life the dull place we call school. I walked through these halls everyday laughing with friends. It’s where my dreams sprouted and where I grew to love a sport and met a team that became family.   

School sucks. Yes. We all know that.  

But high school was never about the school, at least for me. It was about the community.  Because when I think of my high school experience I don’t think about the hours I spent in the classroom or the late nights doing homework. I don’t reminisce about the pythagorean theorem. It’s the school dances I remember. The football games. The wrestling road trips.  Lunch with friends.  And yes, there never seems to be a good DJ at the dances, and we never seem to win football games. I have to run (I HATE running) to make weight, and the cafeteria food isn’t the best, but none of that seems to hold any significance now. Because somehow the good memories outweigh the bad conditions.  Soon all of this will be just a memory.

I’ll finally graduate.  Walking with some of the people I love the most. Those who stuck with me through thick and thin. The one I know will always answer my call. 

And tribute to those that are no longer here to take the next step with us.  

Those friends we lost along the way. Some because time drifted them apart. For some, it was the distance that alienated them. And those whose time was limited and are too far for the living to reach. Because even though you lost those people along the way they shaped the way you are. Every person, every relationship, interaction, and every conversation I’ve had in highschool made me who I am. For better or worse. Time can only tell. 

There’s this feeling of yearning for the June 8th, I’ll spend saying goodbye to highschool and hello to adulthood. And it’s so close. So close to finally reaching this goal that felt so far flung just a couple years ago. 

There’s fear of the unknown and leaving hours away from home is the queen of the unknown. 

But I’ve always been a thrill seeker, and the thing about goodbyes is that  with every door closed, another one opens. And I’ve been ready to close this door.

Graduating doesn’t have to be all sad and gloomy because yes, next year I’ll be gone. Leaving behind my closest friends and family but this idea of a fresh start with complete independence is fascinating. 

And so, even though I’m closing this chapter of my life I know I can always rewind and reread those moments of my past, those 18,720 hours that changed my life.