Laura, a fresh high-school graduate, has agreed to answer a few questions about the period the majority of people call ‘the most beautiful years of one’s life’, her most precious memories, her decision to study abroad and much more.
The full interview below:
Interviewer: Today is the last day when you can call yourself a high school student. Are you sad?
Me: YOU BET.
I: Would you repeat these years if you could?
I: If you could change anything about these 4 years what would it be? Your grades? The boys you dated? Your reading list?
M: Although a bit tempting, none of the above. I try to embrace this philosophy which says that you should accept everything you’ve done and live life with no regrets, because after all, all of the things you have done led you to this wonderful place you currently find yourself in. However, I would document every single day. I would keep a journal for myself, for my memory and for the simple pleasure of being able to recall EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I might remember right now 200 days, but what about the other 1200?
I: Would you say these have been the best years of your life?
M: I don’t know. I haven’t lived them all. I’ll let you know before I die though. (winks) However, they have been the best years of my life so far, although I am inclined to believe it’s natural for every year we live to be better than the previous one. The issue that will bug me for a while is how to live in order for this upward line of fantastic years to continue to be elevated even when I get old.
I: It’s nice to see you also think on a long term. But regarding the present that has already become the past, what was your favorite part about your high school years?
M: The people that I met, definitely. The people without whom I would have never become who I am right now. If I could pick two favorite parts, I would also say the experiences. The nights when we went out, the days we savored for their uniqueness, the times we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt, the plans we have achieved together, the in between moments.
I: Here’s another question: What did you first think about the ones who graduated?
M: To be frank, when I entered high school I thought the graduates were some demi gods. On one hand, the girls were these amazingly looking creatures who seemed to know all about who they were and where they were heading. On the other hand, the boys were actually…looking more like men than teenagers. They had three pieces costumes, smirks plastered on their bearded faces and this aura of self-peace that I had never seen before. In one way, they looked more like mature and confident adults than some kids only four years older than me. Now, when I am in their shoes, I realize that maybe they just seemed like they knew it all and personally, I think that’s completely fine. We shouldn’t be bound to have ourselves and our future lives completely figured out by the time we’re 18.
I: Name the most precious memories you have from your high school years.
L: It’s tough to choose, but I’ll try: I’ll always remember my classes and their special moments (maybe I won’t remember all I had to learn, but hey, that’s why it’s called selective memory), the Friday nights out, all the projects, programs and competitions, every time we got to travel, our freshman prom and our senior prom, the times we watched movies in the school’s amphitheater, the parties and the friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.
I: One message for your teachers.
L: Thank you for helping us grow. It meant the world to me.
I: A message to your fellow high school students.
L: Be selfless enough to do good in the world, be brave enough to do things that scare you, be perseverant enough to make every single one of your dreams a reality, be happy enough with you and your life in order to give up negative thoughts, gossip and complaints and be willing enough to live a meaningful life.
I: Moving on to the next level, why did you decide you want to study abroad?
L: First of all, quality learning is essential for me. Looking at an academic environment that will completely satisfy my high standards, I wasn’t able to find something here, at home, so I decided I will sacrifice my comfort and some sweet years still at mom’s place in order to get the education I wanted. Second of all, meeting people from all over the world and being part of an international context was also very important to me and studying abroad allows me to do this. Last but not least, traveling has become such an important part of my life that I cannot imagine having a different lifestyle, so being in a different country in Europe will hopefully let me explore various countries, cultures and ideas.
I: Please describe how you think your university years will look like:
L: I honestly hope the following three years will be full of happiness, excitement, traveling, continuous learning and strong friendships.
I: Anything else to add?
L: Yes, cliché or not, I would like to thank my parents for being there as they could, for supporting me, for helping me during difficult times and for offering me the environment where I could learn about the values I consider important and about the strong mentality that will get me through life. Please, don’t cry too much when I’ll leave this fall. I promise I’ll try too.