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Guess what? I’m finally going to graduate from high school! I mean like, get my diploma. I’m heading back to Toronto this weekend, and will be sitting in those familiar auditorium seats for over three hours with my graduating high school class. This is going to be so boring.However, I learned about appreciating high school.

Going back for graduation really makes me remember where I came from. It makes me miss the familiar faces and the hallways that always smelled like paint (or the sweaty grade 10 gym class). It makes me remember all of the teachers that invested their time into making me a better student and a better person. It makes me miss those twenty-person classes where everybody knew my name.

It’s so weird to be lumped into the group of “alumni”. What on Earth? I’ve been at this school for my entire high school career, I leave for three months and suddenly I’m “alum”?! There must be some mistake. University still feels like some wild thought experiment, or an extended trip. I keep on feeling like I will wake up at 5:30 am, hop on the train, and go back to my high school classes.

What I miss the most though, are the people that I went to school with. They are people that I can reach out to and who can reach out to me. Everybody has a talent, and everybody else knows what that talent is. If my phone won’t turn on, I know who to ask. If I can’t solve a math problem, I know who can. If I want to bake a cake, I know who can help me make it from scratch.

I have, however, discovered how to keep in touch. First of all, Facebook and Skype are wonderful creations, if only because of the opportunity that it provides. Since I frequent Facebook and Skype, I can just see who’s online and start up a conversation. My closest friends email me and we chat whenever we happen to have time, and it’s just my luck that a good number of my classmates have come to Western with me.

Your high school class is one of the most influential groups of people in your life (if only because they grew up with you), so take some time every so often to just appreciate them. Your high school class might not have been your favorite, but they are definitely very important. So go to that five-year reunion – go and see how far your friends have come.

Photo courtesy of Canuckistan via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Did you appreciate high school more once you left? Post comments below!