I was excited to get there and get going, but once I arrived at the Memorial Coliseum, I took every step very slow, I took time to speak, and I took time to look around at the people who I went to school with for four years and did not bother to get to know the majority of them. When that thought popped into my head, I then wished for more time just so I could build more relationships.
I took pictures with friends and talked with friends before the ceremony. Most everybody was confused by what side the tassel was supposed to go, and most everybody was annoyed by the gown and the tassel. I just savored the moment, it isn't everyday that I graduate from high school. It is just this one day, this one evening for only a few hours to bid good bye to the people that I saw everyday for four years.
Then came the time to line up in the "tunnel". My walking partner, Melissa and I stood by a large, heavy, blue curtain and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. My heart was beating so fast, and I was having trouble breathing. The nervousness masked my excitement, so I had to convince myself that I was excited and not nervous. We waited for a while, waiting to start the ceremony, and finally, it started. The walking partners went simultaneously on both sides of the arena, and the counselors were acting like traffic lights, telling us when to go, and when not to go. It was then time for Melissa and I to go, and Melissa asked me if I wanted to link arms with her, so I did. We linked arms because we had to turn at the exact same time to keep up with the pace. During practice earlier that day on Thursday, we turned at different times because I was walking a little bit faster and turned at a different pace, so it was helpful to link arms. It was also helpful so I would not fall.
We stood at our seats until the whole senior class filed in, and then we were asked to be seated. Our principal said some words, and during the ceremony we had the choir sing a number, and we also had the band strum a number. Our ASB president spoke, and we had other speeches, but the one that stood out to me was a speech by a very good friend, my friend, Mitchell. I have known Mitchell since second grade, and it was awesome seeing my "brother" up there, speaking and representing the senior class. His speech almost brought tears to my eyes because this is the end. This is the very end, and it is also just the beginning. After Mitchell's speech, they presented the top people in the senior class, and the scholars, awarding them with plaques and such. The time came for every senior in cap and gown to walk across the stage and be honored for a few seconds. When our row was motioned to stand, I got the jitters again. We walked behind the stage and I could not keep still. I kept looking up at the speakers, hearing the names being called. We sat in row 2, so our names would be voiced soon and quick. I breathed deeply, and exhaled, feeling excited. I walked up the ramp, and handed the speaker my name card, and she verified how to say my name, and spoke it into the microphone. I proudly walked onto the stage, and the first man that shook my hand said, "Congratulations, Courtney." and handed me my diploma cover. I shook my principal's hand, and another hand, and I forgot to pause for my picture. I walked down the ramp and shook another hand, and then another hand of my honors English teacher during my sophomore year. I waited for Melissa at the bottom of the ramp and when she came down and shook the hands, we raised our arms in victory and I was so excited. I did it! We did it! We went and stood at our seats until our row was done.
After all the names were called, the principal spoke again, and the senior class officers went up to the podium and we sang our alma mater. It was then time to switch the tassel from the right side to the left side, transitioning out of high school, and we threw our caps. We were then dismissed and I went over to Mitchell and hugged him, saying, "Congratulations brother!" I wanted to say good bye because I don't know when I will get to see him again. We said good bye and I met up with Melissa once more, and we exited the arena and back to the meeting room. I made my way upstairs, where I went out to go meet my parents to take pictures and hug my family.
Graduation was over, is over, and so was that chapter of my life. The chapter that went by slow, word by word, but fast, page by page. It is time to start something new, and time to start my life plans. Sam Barlow High School is now my alma mater, and I can finally say, "...back in high school...". I did it. I graduated.