In a couple of weeks, students from all over Essex County will be graduating from high school and some will head off to college at the end of the summer. For some departing students, high school was a joyride from start to finish. They may have been an academic ace or a star athlete or both. The prom queen with dozens of suitors and followers will fondly recall their time in the spotlight. For a few, school may have been more like an experience in daily torture where the biggest hope for each day is that no one will notice them or pick on them.
Most will leave high school with mixed feelings. These students harbor more regret around what they did not do rather than what they did do. They regret not having tried out for a part in the drama club play or not having run for student council and a variety of other opportunities. In high school people that held a different view than you, looked or acted different than you may have caused you to dismiss them. The maturity gained by the college experience will cause most to look back on some of their high school experience as a product of immature reasoning.
Those that bullied, were bullied or were the silent witnesses to bullying will all experience feelings of regret. This regret is an element of processing and letting go. College will be a time of great emancipation for some that are being released from the bondage of or baggage from high school. These will be the young people that we encounter back from college that seem so different. They do not talk about other people or things anymore, they talk about ideas. A fantastic and glorious metamorphosis; they have a lightness about them and most have found their authentic voice, maybe for the first time. To those that have been reborn in the college experience, congratulations. To those in the wings, waiting for their chance, here it comes!
Scot Hurlburt can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org