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Road to College: The Home Stretch

High School is officially over, and here is my last update in the "Road to College" series.

This is it. It’s finally here: graduation day.

All the college decisions have been made, orientation dates set and move in days scheduled. The caps and gowns have been distributed, the yearbooks have been handed out and the finals are over.

The last full day of school has come and gone. The last period of lunch was enjoyed in the ... rain. And the last high school dance for all the seniors was celebrated to the theme of “Aloha San Ramon!”

No matter how quickly senior year passed, and how slowly at times, it was an adventure. From the stress of college applications to fighting the plague of “senioritis,” I won’t be hesitant to tell any incoming seniors to make the most of their last year, because it’ll be over before they know it.

It’s hard for me to believe that we, the class of 2011, are graduating. It seems like just last year that we were nervous freshmen, unsure of what to expect from our high school experience. But now, in just a few months, we will all be walking onto our college campuses or joining the work force or studying abroad — starting over once again.

Some of us will be heading to college, while others will be taking a gap year. Some of us will stay in California, while others will be heading out of state and even out of the country. Some of us are choosing to join the armed forces while others are getting jobs.

With this fresh start brings a range of emotions, from anxiety to excitement. I’m not quite sure what to expect of the next four years. Will I get homesick? Will I love college? Hate it? Will classes be overwhelming? Will I stay in touch with my friends from home?

Only time will answer these looming questions. As scary as it is to leave high school behind, I know that it’s time to move on to whatever the next four years may bring.

As I walk up to the stage in my cap and gown to accept my diploma, I’ll be thinking about all the good times I’ve had in high school. The memories I’ve made, the people I will miss and the aching feeling from leaving it all behind. But that’s what happens, right? We all just keep moving forward.

Next year, as I head off to U.C. Davis, I’ll keep in mind my past mistakes, the times that made me laugh, and the people who helped me make it through. But it’s time for all of us to start again, as adults, off into the “real world”… whatever that is.

Congratulations, Class of 2011! We did it. Here’s to the beginning of a new adventure.

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