Monday, April 25, 2011

Four Years Ago

I was sitting in Chain Reaction graduation the other night, and the magnitude of the event hit me. Not that the senior members are graduating, but that I have now sat through 3 graduations. That means that my prelude with Chain Reaction began over three years ago, and for the first time the end is in sight. Chain Reaction, as many of you know, has been my life for most of high school. It is such a staple in my life that I can't imagine parting with it even more than I can't believe I will be leaving high school this year to venture in to the big bad unknown world of college. I can see things around me winding down everywhere...the end of the UF semester, the reviews for AP tests, graduation anouncements, the ending of most school clubs. And all I can wonder is, will the rest of my life pass this quickly? Because as eager as I am to leave high school behind, will I be that eager if the next four years pass as quickly as the last four years have? I signed a lease, I made contact with the UF collegiate council, I signed up for preview, and I bought student football tickets...I have already rushed this foray into the unknown...and high school isn't even over yet!

I drove by the GHS marquee yesterday and saw something written about the Class of 2007. For so long that year has stood out in my mind as the year I would graduate high school. And for the first time, I realized I was sad about graduating. Not about leaving GHS, but just about being old enough to graduate. We have all been sheltered for so long and now we are being scattered, as if someone reached down and just threw us and saw where we landed. But the scarier thing is, that this is not the last time in our lives that we will be scattered. In four years some of us will return, some of us will venture out further into the world, and some may not be here to continue.

It's weird to think I can remember a time when 1 minute seemed like forever. When I thought 60 minutes to an hour was way too many minutes. When I thought the end of middle school was decades away. When I couldn't believe we were a year into the new millenium. When I started high school and wished so desperately the four years would be over. But now I have run out of things to count down, things to look forward to. The fact that I had to calculate my year of college graduation on facebook seems unfathomable to me. How could this be it?

So back to Chain Reaction graduation. It is amazing to see, from a graduate's point of view, how one person can change the life of another. But that's what happens in Chain Reaction. While we are out there working for the babies, we fail to realize that we have inadvertantly changed the lives of those around us. Allie Weiner said something that really summed it all up. She said, "From the outside, we are just the kids in purple polos at WalkAmerica, and the kids who sell club MOD tickets. But if you could see the Chain Reaction I have seen, you would see kids who have bonded so much, we are all sitting in the ticket booth together, even though it only requires 2 people to sell tickets." And she's right. Watching the chain reaction is a real and tangible thing. These kids who 9 months ago sat in a room with me being interviewed are not the same kids who have just graduated to senior member status. They began as 19 individuals, and now they are a group bonded so much more deeply than you could ever hope to see. Chain Reaction graduation offers a real chance to watch lives change, and I was glad to see it the other night.

So what was this about? I'm not sure. Graduation is sneaking up on us faster than we realize, and as happy as we are to get out of here, I believe that some of us are stlil nervous about leaving. I am...

April 25, 2007


Seems as though not much has changed. Chain Reaction graduation is tomorrow night. My graduation is next Saturday. Once again we're being scattered. I think I feel more confident in knowing that there are some things that will never change. People are always moving, always changing. We are always alone in the making of these decisions, and we alone can control who stays in our lives and who goes. As for me, I think it's safe to say I am a long way from losing touch with the most important people in my life. The biggest difference between these four years and those four years is how much stronger these four years have made me, and how that strength translates into my relationships. I can easily say this has been four years of regret, but as for now, as the outcome measure goes, it was pretty successful. T-6 days and counting...

April 25, 2011