Well, it's been a whole week since graduating, and it still hasn't exactly hit me that I had even graduated at all. I still sit there thinking, "Only three months of summer and then I'm back at school" which is technically true as I head on to graduate school next.
But, our graduation celebration itself was pretty cool. We had 15 Jacksons all together for the celebration. If you know the four of us, you know that we can be pretty loud, but you've never heard how loud my whole family can be. I even joked that if we had a noise complaint while at the hotel, it wouldn't surprise me one bit.
The few days before graduating, right after exams ended was dubbed, "Senior Week." Senior Week entails of all the graduating seniors staying on campus (or going home for a few days before graduation) to just rewind, relax, and get to spend their fellow seniors on a quiet, less crowded (not that it ever really felt crowded to begin with) campus one last time. You could also turn in requests to have underclassmen stay on campus as well.
Monday was the last day of exams, and as usual, I had an exam scheduled for that day. For the past three years, I had at least one exam scheduled on the last day of exams. We also had the independent schedule at school for taking exams. This means that you could take any exam(as long as it was offered to be taken on the independent schedule) from any exam period offered: which was at 9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm, and 7pm-10pm.
But, it wasn't something where you could take part of the exam, leave, and then go back and finish it later. If you chose to take that exam, you shuffle into the auditorium or a designated classroom with a proctor and sit and take your exam for the whole three hours or shorter if it doesn't take you that long to finish.
For senior week, you had different events on each day.
(Monday was still part of exam week.
Tuesday: Senior Brunch, Paint War, and Glow in the Dark Party
Wednesday: Carnival Day, and 90s Camp Party
Thursday: Thunder Valley, Senior All-Night Party; The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Friday: Field Day and Corned Beef and Co.
While I didn't participate in all of the events, the ones I did participate in (Brunch, Carnival, Camp Party, and Thunder Valley) were a lot of fun. We had also tried our hand at the Senior Garage Sale, but we didn't make much money from that. But, we did give everything we didn't sell to Goodwill.
Graduation itself went by pretty quickly. I don't think it was any longer than an hour and a half. Our speaker was an alumn of Hollins who told us, above all else, that "Kindness Transcends All Things" and that you should (as the Dalai Lama said), "Be kind whenever possible and that "it is always possible." That really hit me as over the past few months, I've been thinking back on events in my life and found that there were plenty of moments that I don't look on too fondly for things I said or did. I want to live a life my parents can be proud of and while I can't go back and change things, I can be better moving on into the future.
I've been going back to people and friends and apologizing for things I had said or done to them that were really uncalled for and mean and explaining to them, to the best of my ability, why I had acted that way and said those things. I even apologized to an ex-good friend I had a falling out with. While we aren't friends again, and I didn't expect to be, it was a nice, quick, conversation.
From here on out is where the real work starts. Or at least, that's what dad says when he said that he's been giving us the first week home "off." Yard work and house work, I can see it already. As I look for a job this summer, it's nice to know I have something to keep me preoccupied (even if I'll complain about it from time to time) so I don't constantly say, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do."
I'm training for a race again this summer. One that Jess, dad, and I run together every year. Or at least we try, too. This summer, I'm going to make it a point to drink as much water and cut down on my junk food intake. That'll be a problem the minute we get a lot of soda or popcorn in the house. But, I'll try hard to work through my cravings for it.
A week out of school and I'm sitting home and relaxing, something I feel like I've needed for a while. I never thought of myself as someone that gets stressed out easily, but the thought of potentially, once again, not having a summer job, or even finding one when I go off to graduate school to start paying back student loans kind of freaks me out and I feel like there's a lot of pressure from society to get one.
But, I'm not giving up.
It's only been a week after all.