By Anna-Maria Thalassinos

I knew the end of the school year was quickly approaching. I knew that graduation was right around the corner. But it didn’t fully dawn on me that my years at UAHS were coming to a close until I was handed a bright yellow slip of paper in AP Lit asking me to describe the past four years in four words or a phrase for Norwester.

I sat in my seat dumbfounded. How could I possibly reduce high school to a mere four words? So much has happened to me in that time period that I probably couldn’t even cover it all in an essay. There was just so many aspects of high school that I could cover, from my hilarious times with friends, to the hardships of academic study, to my rewarding years of tennis.

I didn’t want to create a quote underneath my senior picture that only covered one part of high school. High school has been so much more than just four years of my life. It has been the long nights of studying and stress, the tests I aced, the tests I practically failed and the friendships and memories that I have made that will last a lifetime. High school has been the moments where I have found myself crying from pure happiness while laughing my heart out and the moments where I have never felt so low. From all of my achievements, disappointments, heartbreak, late night study sessions and a vast array of awkward moments, high school has molded me into the person I am today, the person who is about to stand before her class for one last time, dressed in a cap and gown.

High school has been quite an experience, to say the least. I admit, I’m nervous to start college due to my irrational fear of not making a solid group of friends and getting a psychopath as a roommate; however, I’m greeting this daunting change with open arms. I may be closing one chapter of my life by graduating high school, but I’m welcoming so many more chapters of good memories and a plethora of opportunities for the future. If high school is as good as it’s going to get, then life would be pretty miserable.

Leaving Veteran’s Memorial June 8 with a diploma in my hand will surely be bittersweet knowing that come fall I won’t be seeing the same faces I’ve seen for the past 18 years on a daily basis. But that diploma will represent my high school career, both the successes and the struggles. However, along with the tears in my eyes will be a smile on my face, because I’ll know that this is only the beginning. Just like the Semisonic song in the movie Friends with Benefits, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” And that left me with my four letter phrase for Norwester, “It’s only the beginning.”