Especially to someone like me, who holds very strong opinions about the modern educational system and thus very strongly dislikes school, graduating high school is an experience that feels almost too good to be true.
Looking back over my four years of high school, a lot of it felt as though it was never going to end. Simultaneously, most of those four years seem to blur together into one massive year, and with my views on school and most people, the actual school aspect of it was just as bad as anyone could imagine from my point of view. However, I will never be able to say I regret any of those four years, mostly because of the experiences I took from it, and some of the friends I've made. It wasn't school that taught me the most important things, looking back, it was the experiences and the people who mattered the most to me.
In my Freshman year, the mere concept of being anything other than a Freshman was inconceivable. Sophomore year in my mind seems very similar to freshman year, and if I were to try and recall specific memories, they would probably intertwine with my freshman year. I can look back on Junior year with the most clarity (except for Senior year, of course), and see myself as part of who I am now, but still shake my head at how I was. It wasn't until this year that I think I found out the most about myself, and really became who I am. And really it is only this year that I can look back on and smile the most about, not only because of myself but primarily because of certain people, close friends and especially close individuals who made this year so worthwhile and also so perfect.
As terrible as it sometimes was, I came out of High School with shining memories--Prom, great times with friends, etc.--amid all of the chaos, and with a sort of contentment only made possible by things such as that. Some of those memories are just memories now, and some are parts of friendships that I know are going to last far beyond High School, such as the Senior trip to Disneyland (which, after all these years, remains to be one of the most magical, happiest places in the world no matter your age), the Prom, to name only a few!
Looking at the world now is a very different experience than it was not so long ago, with High School done and real life ahead, and I find it a surreal, scary, and also awesome feeling.