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A Letter to the Class of 2015

By Rachel Perley in Opinion & Politics

There are seven months until graduation. Seven months. 29 weeks. 203 days. 4872 hours. 292,320 minutes. 17.5 million seconds. And each of those seconds is currently ticking away with no regard for whether we want to graduate right now, this second, or hold onto high school for another year.

The other day, I read the supplementary issue put out by the Arapahoe High School newspaper staff after the school shooting that killed Claire Davis on Friday, December 13th, 2013. The news mag focused on how the Arapahoe community came together after the tragedy to move on.

As I walk through Fairview’s halls after reading those words, I ask myself endless questions. Why did it take a tragedy to bring Arapahoe High School together? What would I do if someone walked into Fairview with a gun? Who would I look for first? What would I do if it was someone I knew? One of my teachers? A close friend? My boyfriend?

How many shoulders would I cry on? How many tears would seep through my shirt? What if I were to witness it? What if it was me? Would I regret my last days, my last actions, my last words?

And then, I got to thinking how little time we have left together. By the time I finish writing this article, I will be down to just 4870 hours left at Fairview. While our time ending at Fairview is not a tragedy, and I pray that we do not have to endure what the Arapahoe Warriors went through last year, I hope that just knowing that we only have a measly 203 days left together will be enough to bring us closer as a student body and as a class.

In the news mag, there was also an article from a student who wrote that she wished she could’ve had an opportunity to thank Claire for befriending her. She said she was planning on thanking Claire at graduation, but never had the chance. This story impacted me more than any of the others.

The writer exposed a wound that many of us have from far less dramatic circumstances. It’s a wound that may never heal even with the passing of time. I bet that many of you have stopped talking to at least one ex-friend in your life. I know I have. The worst part is knowing that you will never be able to talk to them again to resolve whatever happened or thank them for being your friend.

I don’t want that to happen between me and any of you. And that is why I have resolved to make this year about love and compassion. If I know you by face or by name, I probably wave at you and/or say “hi” to you in the hall. There is a small, finite number of times I have left in my life to do this. That scares me. It makes me sad, and it’s only October.

But this article isn’t about getting all sentimental about graduation. Leave that for May. This article is about finding a way to not regret what happens in the next and final 4870 hours I have as an FHS Senior.

There’s a sticky note hanging on my desk with Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.” I’d say Twain knew exactly how we should live our senior year. (Except we should keep the rule breaking and kissing outside Fairview.)

Right now, we are waist-deep in preparing for our individual futures. We are focused on ourselves, our stress levels, our commitments, our goals, our dreams. It’s easy to lose ourselves to the ebb and flow of our lives and deadlines.

We need to take a step back and look out for each other. We need to realize that everyone is facing something difficult in their perspective, whether it is stress over college apps, grades, working to earn money for college, or any other of the multitude of problems that high schoolers are forced to deal with. With only 203 days left, it’s way past time for us to come together as one student body of Knights and lean on each other to make the most of our limited time.

We need to stop and enjoy the little things. Enjoy the unexpected moments of happiness when you see a friend in the hall. Enjoy walking through the Student Center or across the Senior Balcony. Enjoy the traffic jams on Greenbriar after school (on second thought, I probably won’t miss those). Enjoy the Fairview Fridays and assemblies. Enjoy your last Prom. Enjoy being a Knight. But most of all, enjoy each other. We only have 292,320 minutes left together at Fairview.

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