Ignoring the Facts Until You Can’t
May 17, 2018
I’ve spent the last month, or rather six months, avoiding facts, and, for once, I’m not talking about facts about our government or how we’ve finally gone and messed up the earth enough that there’s no going back. I’m talking about the facts regarding the next week of my life and what happens next fall when I return to school.
This year has just been another crazy, hectic year at Holderness for me. On the rare occasion that something would hit me as a last, a soccer game or Winter Carnival, I would avoid it, focus on something else, like my college application or whatever drama I could find to tell Sheppe about while he tells me he doesn’t care. This spring I’ve avoided the facts by counting down. One month until graduation, ten days of classes, one week until prom, two days until the musical. I haven’t really thought about what comes next or reflected on the last four years. I lived my spring enveloped in numbers to avoid what happens when there’s no more time to countdown.
But now I have to face the facts because as of me writing this reflection, there are 6 days and 13 hours until graduation. 6 nights of check-in, one sports assembly, 2 sit downs, 3 days of sports, 2 AP exams. After four years of watching seniors phase out and move on with their lives, I still have no idea how to leave.
It’s funny. We finally find this balance as soon as our time here is limited. We fight and bicker until the time comes where goodbye is on the horizon. When our days are numbered and we’re all awash with emotion, nervousness, excitement, unsure of what comes next and how to feel. Wondering where did all the time go? Has it really been four years since we all showed up as wide-eyed, uncomfortable freshmen? Since that first dance, where we were all confused and lost. Since the days of endless ping-pong in lower Weld and awkward walkbacks. Now we’re squeezing in the last games at snack bar and giving that last walkback a shot. We’re going to blink and this home we’ve built will be gone. All but memories. A period of our lives gone. The last time we were all together working for similar things. A last hurrah before we splinter.
This place has become home and these people family. I was sitting alone in Peck’s office late one night this fall, finishing up my college application. It was nearing the end of study hall, I was cramming to finish everything by a deadline. As I sat there working, I noticed that every senior who walked by the door said good-night or asked if I was going to snack bar. It was something that was so small but left such an impression on me. It felt so normal, almost like something that would happen at home. The same thing happened one afternoon in Weld this winter. I was in the West Wing doing work, people would swing by as they came back from practice or whatnot and behind it all was the clink of serving utensils from the kitchen staff making dinner — it just felt so normal, like I was sitting on my couch at home while my parents made dinner. It’s small things like saying hi to Lenny at lunch every day or late night fireside chats with Sparkman that I’m going to miss most.
Holderness changed me. It changed my friends, just ask any lifer about freshman year Will Harker versus senior year Will Harker. Holderness changed how we viewed the world and interacted with those around us. I never would be who I am today if I didn’t have faculty who knew when to push me and when to lay off, like that time I walked in APUSH last spring and simply started crying.
And, I definitely wouldn’t be who I am today without my friends. I can’t thank them enough for the confidence they’ve helped me build the last four years. They’ve taught me to care about people, but also how to be an individual and not be afraid to do my own thing. I really don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t simply walk across the hall next year when I need them, and I don’t really want to think about it.
But it’s time. It’s time to leave and take this next step, leave the comfort I’ve built here, knowing Holderness will always be here if I need it. It’s time to face the facts, Class of 2018. While we were laying out under the stars instead of working and spending our last Head’s Day in the sun, time kept moving and now the clocks run out.