I believe in self-determination.
“Everybody line up in alphabetical order by last name!” my class advisor said as everybody dispersed into the auditorium. It was June 21st, the last day of school, the last day of my senior year. It was the last day of my high school career. That very day, it was humid, almost 92 degrees and everybody gathered in the auditorium to march out to what will be our last time together as a class. I could tell all my peers were sad, knowing that all the time we have spent together is now a memory. The whole school was painted in red and blue caps and gowns. In my head, all I’m thinking is these kids who I have spent almost my whole life with growing up is now about to be in the real world. No more drama, no more laughs in the hallways, and no more crazy moments in class, gym, and lunch.
I looked out to the stands as we lined up to do our final march and I saw tons of families just waiting to see their kids make their entrance. The entire class was lined up in the hallways. We were joking, laughing, shaking all with nervousness and excitement. Some of the class clowns thought it was cool to even do a little dance they’ve been doing since freshman year. Of course it would not be like me if I hadn’t giggled at the foolery.
We lined up at the front door and before we marched out, we said our final class chant “AYOOO! AIGHT!” As the song played for us to start marching on that field, I turned to my sister and said, “it’s game time.” We marched out to that field and onto the stage we went. The song played a little bit longer for the rest of the class to march in. Nothing could hold back the tears that day. As I sat on that stage, I thought “I really came this far. I can’t believe time flew.” I looked back on all the fun I’ve had from freshman year until then and could honestly say, it has been a crazy but fun four years. I turned around to look on my classmates’ faces and some looked happy to graduate while others were emotional, in disbelief that the time had finally come.
At that moment, nothing held me back. Graduating right next to my twin sister when we both stood in front of the school to say the pledge of allegiance had to have been the best moment in history. I didn’t care about anything else. Anything that went on in high school was all in the past. Standing on that stage, I thanked God as I looked right into my mom, dad and brother’s faces, seeing how proud they were. I represented McIntosh that day. My hard work got me to that place on stage and it’s because of my self-determination.
I took that diploma and with pride, I said “I made it.”