Goodbye is just an easier way of saying, see you later.

If you are like me, then you can’t make a promise if you might not be able to keep it. For the class of 2022, one of the hardest moments of our lives to date, is the goodbye to the life we’ve known for seventeen plus years. Saying goodbye to the friends we’ve made, the bonds we’ve forged, the daily routine we’ve lived.

Lest we not forget the countless hours spent studying for that diploma. The thousands of memories — good and bad — we’ve had the fortune to create with others. Most importantly, let us not forget the valuable life lessons we’ve been taught from others and obstacles we’ve faced.

Ms. Steffany Tribou said to my class the other day, Life is full circle.” For context, the theater teacher that taught her in high school taught my class these last four years. Life is full circle. Several of my teachers throughout high school either taught my parents or were good friends with one of them. Life is full circle.

Countless numbers of my peers and friends are leaving with the hopes of becoming a future teacher; perhaps someday my kids might have them as a teacher. Once again, Life is full circle.

The point I’m trying to convey is sometimes the gut wrenching words you don’t want to hear — “Goodbye” — sometimes it doesn’t mean how it sounds. Sometimes it is just see you later, as “life is full circle.”

To quote Ms. Haley Black, “we pushed ourselves and each other. We passed our classes, and we followed our own paths.”

Now whether your plans are to take a gap year, join the workforce, perhaps it is seeking higher education, no matter what your future plans are, know that it is not goodbye. Somewhere, someday, sometime our paths will cross again. When that time comes, all of us will have blossomed into exceptional people with successful lives and stories to share of “hardships and obstacles that have loomed over us.” The same ones we conquered.

The other day, Mr. Michael McGuire said, “It is our resilience that has made our stories remarkable.”

It is our resilience that guided us when darkness invaded our orbit. It is our vulnerability that allowed us to create these memories, forge these bonds, and say goodbye to our friends.

Sometimes words cannot do justice for the emotions we feel. Sometimes words are interpreted incorrectly. What I’m saying today won’t relay to you what I‘m feeling. You won’t read this and feel the uncertainty, the raw emotions, the startling reality that everything has changed before your eyes.

It feels like yesterday I started my senior year and last week of high school. Sometimes we need to simply put down the phones and enjoy the time we have, because life is full circle. What goes around comes around, what you put out comes back to you in the future.

In the painful blink of an eye, our lives have changed immensely from freshman year. Yet, once again, we are freshmen.
As Jacob Caroll said, “We are now the freshmen of the adult world, where we must push ourselves to climb the ranks like we have done in these past four years.” Wise words, yet true.

So go one baby bird! Fly the coop! Spread your beautiful wings and fly from here.

If any lesson stays with you from now into eternity, let it be “carpe diem,” because life is full circle.

Deklin Fitzgerald is a 2022 graduate of Oceanside High School and an aspiring journalist.