What will you miss most?

A Grad Book question. Simple. Shouldn’t be too difficult to answer.

But what if I’ve been too busy staring at the ground, watching my feet plod on forward through this period of my life, too oblivious, too focused on getting out? What if I haven’t been appreciating these moments enough to miss them? Living through school as if making a pit-stop? Treating these days as temporary stepping stones to something else, something better in the future? Crossing days off the calendar, wading through summer to get to winter. And look how far I’ve come! It’s December. And then it’ll be New Years and the last months of high school.

I spend eight hours a day within the walls of my school, five days a week for around ten months a year, yet nothing worth mentioning springs to mind. I do not have an attachment to a specific chair or classroom or locker. School’s been a temporary home and now that it’s almost time to go, what causes me reluctance (if any)? Or will I go without hesitation, turning back only after I’m out the door to commemorate the journey that has gotten me to that point? Like looking down from the peak of a mountain, finally breathing in success from a long, arduous climb.

My friends are another matter altogether. I know I will miss them – the thought tugs at my heart. But I can’t think of one thing that I enjoy that summarizes the school experience for me. I don’t think I’ll miss the rush of finishing off a piece of work at 3am before the 7am deadline. Even though I’m all for learning, I don’t think I’ll miss sitting through lessons that I can’t differentiate from one another. It’s a shame but my memories of all my classes form this globular pulp. Apart from my old English teacher who’s probably the most genuine teacher I know, my current English teacher who looks like a ginger version of Loki from the Avengers, my hilarious-without-even-trying Biology teacher and maybe the nice canteen manager, what makes my school life more tolerable? What stories will I tell my grandchildren about highschool?

The best high school stories are ones that include a little rule-breaking and general naughtiness. Those still doesn’t summarize school for me (if it did I’d probably be expelled), but they do a good job of making me smile. Scribbling on supervision tables, carving into them with a ruler or a pair of scissors, staining them with Tipex, missing school for lunch at the mall (I kid you not), accidentally letting droplets of rain dribble down from umbrella’s onto people’s heads in the canteen line, sneaky texting, wearing fake casts to get out of swimming classes, passing around notes during supervision (Year 7 days), listening to music in class from one earphone through the arms of a sweater… These little acts of rebellion arise out of the monotony of school- school as a production line for educated pupils, citizens of tomorrow and all that.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish I could just experience without having to reach a destination- and be comfortable with that. It’s a very Keatsian thing to say, to value present sensation over goals and dreams of the future. It would definitely make it easier to answer the question: what will you miss most? And ensure that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing things worth missing.

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