To West Forsyth- My final farewell

Senior+Gabi+Jenkins+has+decorated+her+cap+for+graduation.+This+is+the+first+year+seniors+have+been+allowed+to+decorate+their+caps.

Senior Gabi Jenkins has decorated her cap for graduation. This is the first year seniors have been allowed to decorate their caps.

Gabrielle Jenkins, Co-Editor-in-Chief

High School— in what was supposed to be a four year basic life experience, turned into 2.75 years of unforgettable memories, heart break, stress, happiness and change. While I sometimes get sad about the fact that I didn’t get to experience my full four years at West, and the fact that I didn’t even get to finish out what I now know was my final in-person school year of my life, I couldn’t be happier to be graduating and moving on to the next part of my life. The events that shaped my life in these last 4 years have had such an immense impact on me that I couldn’t help but reflect on them.

To the girl in the above-knee skirt on the first day of school my freshman year, just know that I was shocked. I had come from a religious school with a strict dress code. So, your beautiful jean skirt that was a half inch above the knee scared me a little bit. But it inspired me to start dressing the way I had always wanted, the way I wanted the world to see me.

To the teacher that reassured me that the bell was not a fire alarm,
Thank you so much. You saw my confused and slightly terrified face and knew that I was concerned. You saved me the embarrassment of having to ask some other kid what that loud noise meant, or walking aimlessly before I realized it was time to go to class. I mean seriously, who makes a “bell” sound like a long beep. To this day, I still don’t think the “bell” sounds like a bell. It’s a cruise ship alarm. Call it what it is. At my private school, our bell was an actual bell.

To the multiple kids whose desks I hit by trying to scoot back my chair,
I’m so sorry. This concept of desks connected to chairs was so bizarre to me. I was used to a desk, and a chair, TWO SEPARATE COMPONENTS. A desk and a chair connected wastes space anyways. If you need to clear out a room, it’s much easier to fold up some tables and stack up some chairs to push them to the side. Four years later and I still haven’t figured out the reason behind desks attached to chairs. And I still think it’s an ill-thought-out idea.

To the kid who got thrown in the student section, and the kids who threw their trash forward,
We tried to warn you. Freshman in the junior/senior sections get kicked out. And if you won’t move, you’ll GET moved. If you throw your trash down, EXPECT for it to get thrown back directly into your face.

To the WS/FCS Board who decided to send us to school during a Hurricane,
I understand why you sent us to school that day. Two weeks earlier you cancelled school for a “hurricane” and absolutely nothing happened. No rain, no wind; it was a normal sunny day. But after waking up at 6 am to roads already being flooded, shouldn’t that have been a hint to cancel, or at least pull a 2 hour delay? I’ll never forget getting out of my car and walking 20 feet to the 500 building just to end up with my jeans completely soaked as if I had just stepped out of the shower with clothes on. I remember seeing multiple kids slip and fall underneath the 500-600 breezeway pass. Some even quickly whisked away in ambulances and C-Spine stabilizers. And watching people who lacked spatial awareness trip into giant puddles of muddy water was the cherry on top.

To the kids who shoved oranges in the bathroom toilets,
I still want to know why. That had to have been the world’s most useless prank. ONE boys’ bathroom was shut down compared to the 12 on campus. Haha so funny. All it did was inconvenience the rest of us who had to spend 10-15 minutes going to the 600 to use the bathroom after the rest of them on campus shut down. Next time, let’s get a little more creative.

To the kids who got bike riding at PE temporarily banned,
Do you use a stove when you don’t know how to cook? Do you drive a manual car when you only know how to drive automatic? I’m just trying to gauge what would compel someone to hop on a bicycle without knowing how to ride one. YES, knowing how to steer is vital, and it is NOT “just like a tricycle.”

To the school for hosting multiple events in the library,
As a former library assistant myself, I thank you. All that free time allowed for much homework to get done and many trips to IHOP during 2nd period to occur. A break in the day is just what everyone needs sometimes.

To ANY of my friends I fake coughed on between the end of February and the beginning of March 2020,
I’m so sorry. Looking back, that was a grave mistake. We had no idea how serious this was going to be. The people in the news made it seem like it was just another virus that caused a mild cold. Everyone was making jokes about the ‘Rona. I just wanted to make a joke too!

To anyone who showers during a Zoom call,
We know. Anytime you unmute, we can hear the water falling down. I know you think you’re being inconspicuous. I know you’re probably showering to get ready for work or practice or whatever else you have going on in your life. However, downloading Zoom on your phone and using the chat feature is ALWAYS a better option.

To my friend group throughout high school,
Even though we weren’t super close until junior year, eating lunch with y’all everyday was always my favorite part of the day. Coming to sit down, share stories, do homework and hair, anything we did. It always made my day. From the games we used to play throughout the day and walking to class, to piling seven people into one car to go to Bojangles during lunch, I’ll never forget the memories. You were the ones who made my high school experience what it was.

As I walk across the stage this June at the place I didn’t imagine graduating from, with less people in the audience cheering my name than I had imagined, I’m proud to say that high school wasn’t exceptionally bad. It wasn’t exceptionally great either, but it’s unrealistic to expect that. It’s your final 4 years of required schooling, so naturally they wouldn’t be a walk in the park. But I can at least look back and say that there were major parts of my experience that I’ll never forget.