In the years I’ve been to Grace, only one thing has been consistent; friends leaving. Throughout my time here, I’ve seen too many people to count come and go, a majority of them being upperclassmen.
Whether it was my sisters, their teammates, or seniors that were in my classes, people who I know as friends have left and/or graduated from the school. While I know they have gone on to bigger and better things, it doesn’t make their leaving any easier.
The last three years have been hardest, with my last two sisters, Hannah Hester and Riley Beason, graduating three and two years ago respectively.
Last year was difficult for other reasons, Jay Sedwick, “The Golden Boy of Grace Prep,” as I called him, a guy who I had looked up to my entire career at this school has gone on to college. Maggie Bullington also graduated last year, and next year her sister, Claire Bullington, will as well.
These girls were my first friends ever at Grace. They were the ones who talked to a second grade boy who was too shy to sit down anywhere or talk to anyone. They were nice enough to give a little boy the feeling that he had finally found the school he wanted to stay at.
This year promises to be another hard-hitter, with seniors like Haven Rodgers, who did her best to help me with homework when I was struggling, or the Campbell twins, who are always there to brighten everyone’s day, and Trey Garcia, who has helped me on the set of the school play.
Now they join the ranks of seniors who move out of the way for the next generation to step up. Haven and the Campbell twins have younger siblings here, who will no doubt have the same feelings I did when my three sisters left.
Every time seniors leave, there will be kids like me who feel like they’re losing longtime friends, and they’re left with the bittersweet consolation of the fact that these friends are moving to the next chapter of their lives.
The bright side is that if they’re as good of friends as you think they are, then they will still keep in contact, and for the most part, they do. I still talk to Jay, Maggie, and some of my sister’s old volleyball teammates; (I still talk to my sisters too).
So although I don’t see them every day, I can still count on them for advice and encouragement when I need it.
Although the seniors leaving is difficult, it gives us underclassmen a reason to make new friends, and to step up and become a friend for someone else.