Never Look Back: 2012 graduates must bid farewell to high school and greet the future

Erin Figley, Editor-in-Chief

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A tumultuous downpour of cardinal caps rain above our heads. It’s over.

We’ve reached the summit of secondary education. It has been a wild and turbulent climb but we all took the necessary steps to complete this profound journey. It feels as if we stand atop the world on this peak; and as I look around, I cannot say I’ve ever seen the sun shine so bright.

We exit, closing the doors of high school behind us. Some of us slam them while others struggle to let go of the knob. Regardless, everyone must at some point walk away from Milford High School. I urge you, don’t look back. Look onward—you are en route to your future and life is not going to wait for you to catch up. While the doors of MHS close to us, we are greeted with a plethora of others, summoning us to turn the key and fulfill our dreams. Which passage you chose is of not of the utmost significance; rather, your initiative in choosing something is crucial. Do not waste life remembering what was—think instead of what could be.

Leaving high school is the equivalent of establishing your own personal statehood. The sovereignty and independence of coming into adult years can be likened to that of a young nation. We’re on our own now—and we’re respected because of it. For years, educational authorities have degraded our maturity, treating us like infants, as if we were the insufferably taxed colony inferior to their glorious reign. No longer will you live in fear of administrative bullies telling you what is acceptable to wear, what geographical boundaries you must remain within during the better part of your days, what behavior and speech is appropriate, and when you can and cannot leave. Many of us will flee from our parents’ nests; we will fly away from the curfews, the chores, the moral guidelines which our mothers and fathers imposed upon us. We are free from all previous structure and formality. No longer must we live confined to the restrictions which these authorities have implemented. You are free to create your own constitution, your own code of conduct—you must now write the rules which will govern your life.

With these newfound freedoms comes a great deal of responsibility. We must learn to cook, clean, study, and care for ourselves. There is no one to hold your hand and tug you along at this point. You must grasp new opportunities and duties solitarily and make what you can of them. Do not look toward this with terror but beam at the chance to grow and to come to know yourself on an entirely new level.

Say goodbye to the meaningless homework assignments and in-class busy work and welcome higher intellectual development. Instructors will no longer assign useless tasks for the sake of having a list in a grade-book nor will you spend hours on artfully adorning a poster-board. It’s time for bona fide learning in which exams and research papers and theses and lab-work amount to the bulk of your grades. A more serious realm of academic enrichment is about to begin. Liberate yourself from all of the empty coursework you’ve completed.

We shall disperse, spouting across immense land. Some of the faces we have grown so accustomed to seeing day-to-day we will never see again. These people will be but washed-out images in our faded minds. This fact is not worthy of your tears. Those who only reflect on old memories and fail to create new ones choose mere existence over infinite essence. We will meet a monstrous amount of individuals in our lives. The ones we value enough to be remembered will be. Furthermore, do not quarantine yourself to a single type of humans. Instead, always have open ears—the most unlikely of people may inspire you and alter your remaining life.

Don’t ever be afraid to stand out. Someone is going to come around and admire that version of you which high school may have intimidated into subjugation—resurrect yourself. As for the queen-bees of the hierarchy of high school, we will watch them squirm once displaced from their buzzing swarm. We are entering a world in which your former social position has no relevance; regard this as a chance to start over.

It is false to state that I will miss nothing about Milford High School. Overall, this institution and this town were excellent locales to grow up in. Nonetheless, whether we act it or not, we are grown up now—and it is time to ascend that next peak.

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