Last formal

Abbigail Kovac, left and Emelinda Jimenez before formal.

High school almost seems to be a dream.

A place you always looked forward to, imagining it to be great, filled with nothing but spontaneous memories. But once you’re there, it kind of just becomes a routine. Unknowingly, you feel as if you have spent a lifetime in those familiar halls.

Until it’s your last year.

You’re running out of time, with reality spinning your world around, colleges wanting you to apply, the stress of acceptance/rejection letters. For most, I believe it feels as if senior year is the equivalent of an eviction notice. Your time is up – you have this amount of time to find a new home. Good luck.

Some may not feel this, but high school is like our home – a place we’ve become comfortable with whether we wanted to or not. These halls may be cracked and chipped, but in those crevices seep out stories and pains we have all experienced throughout this campus. The buildings that seem so plain have witnessed every emotion we’ve felt throughout these four years. I have experienced such great memories and my most painful throughout high school. These halls don’t just watch us experience these things, they cling closer to us and shape us into stronger beings. High school gives us experiences we’ve never been through before, slowly preparing us for the real world.

Even though these buildings seem the same, they have watched us grow, from freshmen scared to enter a new world to seniors scared to leave it behind.

As for myself, I, too, am scared.

I am scared I took this place for granted. I am scared I did not cherish my friends enough. I am scared to let go of a place I unknowingly hold dearly to my heart. You do not think you will miss things until you are about to lose them.

All my life, my goal has been to go to college and leave Bakersfield. I am now officially an admitted CSU Chico student. When I received my acceptance letter, the overwhelming feeling of happiness flooded throughout my blood stream, but I couldn’t help but notice a subtle feeling of sadness.

This is it. I am leaving, entering a new world and losing another along the way.

A place everyone longs to leave is now a place I am going to miss. Bakersfield may not be ideal for most, but to me, I’ve realized it is an ideal place to grow up in. At first, I did not like this large-yet-small city, but during my high school years, I discovered an appreciation for it.

I had the privilege of meeting a Bakersfield native with an eye for nature. As they showed me places I’ve never seen or knew of about Bakersfield, it opened my eyes about my hometown.

I am incredibly grateful for that person.

Even in the most unlikely of places, there are still things undiscovered. And as I look back in the rearview mirror watching the sunset behind me, it reassures me that I will be OK.

High school, Bakersfield and all the special people here are a sunset I’m leaving behind. A sunset I will revisit. A sunset I call home.

And whether I want it to or not, this place will always give me a feeling of a summer beneath the trees. 

Abbigail Kovac is senior at Ridgeview High School. She plans on attending CSU Chico in the fall to study mass communications. The views expressed are her own.

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