SENIORS, SIGNING OFF: It’s been one hell of a ride

Every year, graduating seniors on The Octagon write a final piece to say goodbye to Country Day. This is one of nine pieces by the class of ’22.

Does Lightning McQueen have car insurance or life insurance?

You probably think that this is a stupid question, and you’d be right, it is. But it also got you thinking, even if it was only for a couple of seconds.

The reason I’m pointing this out is because it’s synonymous to how I view this story. Unlike any other story I’ve ever written, there are no limitations.

I can write about whatever I want, and yet I can’t seem to think of anything to write about. I keep starting, deleting and restarting.

I realize now, about five hours into writing, that this assignment isn’t meant to draw out some philosophical, award-winning story about my high school experience. All it’s meant to do is get me thinking.

Thinking about the memories I made every day. Thinking about the multitude of people I got to know. Thinking about the variety of things I learned, or the lifelong friends I now have.

And even thinking about the regrets I have as I prepare to leave high school behind. This last one hurt the most. I remember when I was a sophomore I made a promise to myself; I don’t want to live my life with any regrets. Now, two years later, I realize that this was pretty idealistic.

I regret not spending as much time with my friends outside of school, not getting my license sooner and not spending more time on things I was passionate about. Although some of this was unavoidable because of COVID-19, it still hurts — almost as much as saying goodbye does.

I know it’s kind of a cliché, but when it’s time to say goodbye, it really is difficult. I’ve been at Country Day for 13 years. I might not be a “true” lifer that was here for 14, but it still has felt like a lifetime. A part of me doesn’t want to give up the day-to-day life I have right now, but the rest of me realizes that I’ve almost overstayed my welcome.

It’s time for me to start a new chapter of my life, and I won’t ever be able to turn that first page until I finally step away from the shoreline and make my way toward the horizon I’ve been looking at my whole life.

Peace out, Country Day. It’s been one hell of a ride.

— By Arjin Claire

Originally published in the May 24 issue of The Octagon.

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