On the night before the first day of freshman year, I remember not being able to sleep because of the butterflies in my stomach. I remember crafting a binder of all my goals for each year of high school: having above a 4.0, taking every AP class possible, getting into my dream university, and placing in multiple forensic competitions...the list was endless. Today, as I pull this binder from its familiar spot on the bottom shelf on my last day of highschool, I cannot help but reminisce in triumph.
With the blessing of God, I am exactly who I wanted to be.
Okay, scratch that.
No, I didn’t wind up the valedictorian or even the salutatorian of my class like I intended, but I did end up a honors graduate. I didn’t get into my dream university, but I got into an amazing one I couldn’t be prouder to join. High school has taught me many things: from who my true friends were, to how to thicken my skin, but most importantly, it taught me to trust destiny. To trust my decision to switch schools smackdown in the middle of high school. It taught me to stick to my gut and push through debate class, and, most importantly, dance through the tournaments. To utterly and unapologetically be myself, no matter the consequences. And there is no feeling better than this.
In high school, I joined forces with people I never thought I would have anything in common with. I made new friends, accomplices, and teammates. I did my best to get to know every single soul in the school building: from working on a website with the awkward wannabe computer engineer to prose and poetry class with the emo girl with the ugly skater boy shoes, and by pushing myself to do this, I have discovered a wonderful world that I will forever keep within me.
There are 7 more days until I am no longer Duriba Khan the high school senior, but Duriba Khan, the posh and sophisticated college freshman. Looking back, all of the events I looked forward to throughout my entire highschool career have either passed or are approaching swiftly and sweetly: From the senior brunch, short film, senior trip, Student Council, Newspaper committee, senior photoshoot, senior prank, and finally...graduation. It has all been so memorable, hilarious, and simply fun. I am so grateful to spend these last couple of days with the craziest bunch around.
And suddenly, in the same International Relations class where I napped too many times, I look around on this last class of the year and take in everything. From the way the boy in the first row tilts his head to the stain on the roof. Suddenly, on my regular walks to the gas station next to school, I stop in my tracks and realize that that moment will never come again. Suddenly, as I saunter across the front of the classroom during a Student Council meeting, I realize that that will be my last, and I feel nothing short of blessed.
So if you’ve ever laughed at a stupid joke I made or hurt my feelings, thank you. You have made me into the person I am, and for this, I am grateful. I am so grateful to have led such a wonderful existence where I have never felt short of being loved. God has given me so many opportunities, and although I may have no grasped every single one, the ones I took hold of will remain forever in my gluttonous heart.
As the textbooks slam shut and the sun shines for longer, we enter a new season of life. For some, this season will be like any: it will pass swiftly between Netflix and summer classes. For others, it will be life altering. It will be a time of renewal, replenishment, and change. And for the first time in my life, I finally feel like I have the right to categorize my new season as the latter.