When you’re a freshman in high school, the four years left of mandatory schooling seem to be the longest thing you will ever do. This past weekend, my cousin graduated from high school and it got me thinking about two things. First, I am so relieved that that part of my life has been over for three years (the only reason why I know it’s three years is because I did a simple calculation beforehand). I’m also thinking about everything I have, or haven’t, accomplished in that time.
Number One. I moved out of the house and out of state. I moved to California to live with my grandma and attend the community college there because I thought I needed a fresh start in a new place. I would come to realize in the following months, that I had no idea what I was doing and moved back home.
Number Two. It’s okay to not know. (I made that vague on purpose). For me, it was figuring out what I wanted to study and later, do with my life. Initially, I thought it was journalism
and now it’s journalism, again, but I took a detour and thought I might want to study computer science. I think I needed that hesitation and doubt in order to be completely sure of my decision going forward.
Number Three. I know myself super well now. Without all the external factors that come along with high school, I’ve spent so much time with myself that I don’t feel guilty about being reserved. I can also recognize a situation that might make me anxious and know how to deal with it.
Number Four. I have achieved 63 credits and will be attending a four-year university this fall. Yay!
Number Five. I’m okay with labels now. Society likes to organize people into boxes and have everything all neat and tidy, and I used to run from it. Particularly, I would get so worked up when people called me shy because it felt like I had to appeal to their expectations of me. I still don’t like labeling myself, but I don’t switch off now when it does occur. It comes with getting to know yourself and your values, I guess.
Number Six. Having confidence in my name makes people less likely to butcher it. Growing up, I’ve heard every variation possible from “Amelia” to “Ah-mah-leia.” Even at graduation it was mispronounced as “Uh-male-ee-uh.” I think after so many years of mispronunciations, I didn’t even know what the correct way was anymore so I didn’t bother correcting anyone. However, in the past three years, I have grown into my name and its pronunciation.
Overall, I’m a much happier person now than I was and I’ve grown so much in the past three years. How have your plans changed since graduating high school? Or if you’re still in high school, what are are you looking forward to once you graduate?