It’s Time to Say Goodbye


Dear Bingham,

My time here has been something akin to a gray and rainy Saturday. It hasn’t been exciting or particularly eventful, but it’s something I appreciate nonetheless. There’s also something oddly comforting about this day as well.

For the first part of this very long day, I was simply terrified. We had new territory to conquer, and when I say conquer I mean the act of making this territory livable. But it’s clear to me now that trying to conquer it was a big waste of time. It’s sort of the same mentality we refused to shed in middle school: a mentality that everybody is watching you, judging you, or talking about you. If we weren’t going through puberty, this obsession with everyone watching you would be described as a bad case of paranoia. There are often exceptions to struggle, however—SBOs, theater kids, and natural born athletes—but for the average denizen like me, it’s a battle, a battle that never needed to be fought in the first place. The shock was good, though. I started off with a cold shower and it woke me up, it allowed me to be vigilant for a good portion of the day.

The middle of the day was easily the most stressful. I can drive now? It’s entirely up to me to get to school on time? We have the ACT at the end of the year? I’m working full time, but I’m also doing schoolwork full time—how am I supposed to balance this? All these questions rang in my head. But what was more important were the happy thoughts also bouncing around up there. You just got your first kiss! 

You just bought your first car! You’ve finally found a group of friends to settle down with this year—it’s gonna be great. I attended most of the dances, had things to do on the weekends, and had a stable job. I decided to look at the glass half full. Even during quarantine, I found a job to keep myself busy and active, so I couldn’t really complain all that much.

When evening finally arrived, it was more exhausting than ever. We’d made it through the day, though, and I was on the home stretch. All that was left was to finish everything up, and it was ok if I got a few bad grades. I just needed to graduate. Friendships grew distant, but the ones that mattered grew even closer. It would be morning again soon, and I would start the long process of surviving a day again, but this time, I would be living in a familiar world.

My advice for anyone in high school is to focus on what’s important. This is such an easy thing to say, but an immensely complicated idea to practice. It’s subjective, (everything is), so it’s really up to you. What do you enjoy the most? And I don’t mean short term enjoyment, I mean long term growth type enjoyment. Who do you love? What do you love? What’s the point of your attendance here? Should it be to learn? Should it be to make friends? That’s up to you; the challenge is deciphering which one is the healthiest for you, and it’s something I wish I was able to decipher earlier.


– James