We seniors at Forbush High School are in the midst of our last two weeks of free, public education. Each period brings us an hour and one half closer to the end of over twelve years of learning and growing alongside each other. Graduation is just around the corner, and we find ourselves immersed in a confusing hurricane of emotions; are we happy, proud, and excited that we have successfully passed our classes and filled our minds with knowledge from a wide variety of fields, or are we sad, wistful, and heartbroken that we are at the end of an era and will soon be out on our own? I would say that it is a little bit of both, and I take comfort in the fact that millions of seniors in high school and college around the globe share these bittersweet feelings.
During the fall of 2015, I was an exchange student in Austria for three months, and the experience not only made me appreciate a foreign culture and society, but it also emphasized to me the beauty of Yadkin County and Forbush High School. When I arrived in Austria on September 6th, I too often focused on what I disliked about Forbush, but by the time I boarded a plane that took me back to America on December 5th, I had gained an intense appreciation for the perfect imperfections at Forbush High School. Sure, the G Building hallways often smell of manure, but this stench is a price I will gladly pay for living in a beautiful, country town. Yes, I wish that we had more classes to choose from when crafting our schedules, but a small school has many benefits as well, such as teachers’ ability to give personalized attention to students. Leaving Forbush High School led me to appreciate all it has to offer, and I am sure that my other 200 classmates will experience similar revelations following graduation on June 6th.
As I look to my future at Duke University as a Robertson Scholar, I am honored and energized. I will spend the next four years not only receiving, but also pursuing, a first-class education replete with internships and various exploratory, interdisciplinary programs. I have already met several of my future classmates, and I am humbled by the talent of our generation.
Most students in Forbush High School’s Class of 2017 are eager to explore new environments, create change, and make their marks on the world outside of Forbush. I invite my fellow graduates to consider these wise words of author Miriam Adeney: “You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
Sierra Winters is a senior at FHS who writes and photographs for YCS Virtual News.