Disclaimer: Clichés and Cheesiness

Megumi Kamikawa


If I had the choice, this entire commentary would be a stream of consciousness – one with tears and screams and endless cussing.

But I’m living a life of denial. So, instead of sharing my memories and bawling my eyes out over things you probably don’t care about, here’s a thing I learned during these past four years.

It’s only four years. Who cares if it’s a cliché – make the most out of it. It’s high school, years that can’t be taken back, years dedicated to making stupid mistakes and learning how to overcome them, to memories worth remembering so you can tell people in the future about your crazy teenage years that you wouldn’t trade for the world.

And remember the people in them. They’re not your memories without them.

The people around you are what make up your life.

Rather than sharing stories, share the people.

The classmate: Interesting. Don’t know ‘em well enough to say what they’re like, but each have special characteristics that make them individuals. Exciting to think about where they’ll be in ten years. Wish them well, hope for their happiness.

The student: Willing. Strange to meet people listening to your own words, but heartwarming to see them progress. Watching them get excited over simple things you once spazzed over is like watching a toddler learn to tie their shoes. Trust that they’ll use their knowledge for good.

The peer: Fun. Not the closest, but close enough to joke around and have petty arguments with. They’re there for random conversations and occasional “hello’s” on the way to class. Maybe not the most memorable, but nevertheless significant to know.

The teacher: Respected. Don’t hate them, don’t necessarily love them. But putting up with teenage crap is an amazing feat in itself, regardless of how it’s handled. And they have to have credentials for it. Thank them once in a while.

The friend: Secure. Trustworthy and fun to be around, and deserving of the same attention they give you. Sometimes aggravating, but only because you know they’re well-intentioned. People you’ll cry about when they leave, but will have a special place in shaping who you are.

The person: Rare. Nothing hidden, open ears and hearts; malicious feelings will subside due to the incapability of staying mad at them. Rotation through all spectrums of emotion with no fear of being judged or abandoned. Simultaneously independent and dependent on one another.

All different, all individual. All people.

A part of me wants to delete all of this and write a selfish story about my life and experiences and get all sappy about leaving. But I’m not me without these people, even the people who bump into me during pass period.

So this is an homage to all of you – friends, enemies, strangers, advisors.

Thank you. Your love, hate, indifference, whatever.

You’ll soon realize how much you’ve gained by being here. Psychologically, physically, personally.

In these four years, learn whatever you can, whatever you enjoy. Appreciate the privilege of being able to learn, and take advantage of it. Learn to be that genuine person who can contribute to other people’s memories, like they have you.

    Learn to be you.

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