Four years. This once seemed like an eternity, but has since turned into a deceivingly short period of time in reality.
Back in ’08 — more commonly known as the glory years — I thought that graduation from high school would never come. I had just finished my last year of middle school and was feeling the common mixture of excitement and nerves as my freshman year was fast approaching. Grade 12 and the responsibilities that intertwined them together was an idea I had little grasp of.
I had no idea of how much Neelin High School would forever change my life. I had an older brother and sister walk the halls of Neelin before I did, so I knew that this school was a safe bet for me. However, I had no idea just how much of an investment in myself it would become.
Of course, how could an investment in high school take place without someone else to invest their time in you to ensure success?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers of Neelin. During my first year, some of you seemed intimidating and had me shaking in my boots whenever it was required to visit your room, but now having had you as teachers over the years, I’m proud to say that while you can still be frightening, I no longer tremble in my seat!
The teachers of Neelin are what made me realize how important it is and how fulfilling it can be to mould the minds of teenagers. These men and women deserve a mighty round of applause for all the work they do on a regular basis.
I believe the performing and visual arts department of Neelin should be the recipient of a mighty head nod from the entire student body.
Whether it has been in a drama class, participating in the major productions, watching the major productions, seeing the choirs perform, or hearing the choir practise during lunch throughout the week, most of the student body has been affected by the music department in some way. Here, students realize their passion for acting and singing, and they feel a deep sense of acceptance.
This feeling of comfort and support during any performance on stage is a feeling unique to Neelin.
All departments deserve tremendous recognition for their part in impacting a student’s life. There cannot be one student who walks the halls without having had some kind of interaction with any teacher or group run by students.
With graduation approaching, I cannot help but wonder what next year holds. To not come back to the hallways and classrooms I know so well in the fall will be quite the change, but it is one I’m ready to accept.
However, when the time comes to let go, the moment will be rather bittersweet. The feeling of community that serves as Neelin’s selling point will be very difficult to forget. It’s one of Neelin’s best traits and a rare occurrence.
Readjusting to the world of university — where knowing other individuals is few and far between — will be a little depressing at first. No more easy banter with teachers during classes, no more meeting friends to discuss the latest gossip between bells, and no more feeling of comfort in the hallways.
When the time comes, I know I, as well as the entire graduating class, will be ready to leave and make Neelin a thing of the past.
By June, I will be proud of my success and ready to stop studying, but during the summer, I know I will remember Neelin for what it was in its entirety: a place of greatness.
The past short four years have flown by unfairly fast and I wish the remaining two months would slow down a hair to let me catch my breath.
Although it’s with sadness that we must say goodbye, I feel happy for what has been and have no regrets for what could have been, since Neelin High School and all those within it have made it all possible.
» Milaine Lacerte is a Grade 12 student at Neelin High School.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 7, 2012