I always wanted to be in high school. The Disney Channel glorified high school life and I couldn’t wait until that was me. The life of a high schooler is a roller coaster ride, there are constant ups, downs, and on occasion a loop-de-loop, and I wanted to be there.
Now I am graduating.
If I am being completely honest, I endured most of this year in disbelief. I couldn’t believe this was my senior year. It started normal, but then this happened: all of the “lasts.” Last swim meet, last homecoming, last football game, last Fish Bowl, my last column for this newspaper. Soon enough I will park in my designated spot for the last time, walk to my classes for the last time, and hug my favorite underclassmen for the last time, who will then soon be experiencing their own lasts.
I have lived on the Key Peninsula in my little farm house my entire life. In just a couple months everything will change.
I will be attending Washington State University in Pullman to continue my education. I will study music and writing (against the advice of my KP News editor). I would like to be a teacher of some kind. It’s somewhat of a cliché to want to be a teacher, but it’s the second-best answer people have to major in besides communications. After touring WSU and spending time in the music department, it felt like the right place to be. On my college checklist, my No. 1 priority was it must have a good football team. Luckily for me, the Cougs are just that.
I faced a wide array of teachers throughout my Peninsula School District career. I had some who inspired me and urged me to keep going. I had some that broke my confidence and made me lose my love for learning.
I want to be a teacher I never had.
But among the discouraging adults in my life there were so many who inspired me in so many ways. In first grade I fell in love with reading in Ms. Porter’s classroom at Evergreen Elementary. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Ohlson, was the first to build my confidence in math. I got my first 100% that year and I was so proud of myself. Yes, I still remember that. At Key Peninsula Middle School, I fell in love with music with Ms. Kaal. And my passion for writing grew with Mrs. Richards at Peninsula. Although we had a love-hate relationship, I am forever grateful to her.
My greatest takeaway from Peninsula High School are the relationships I made there. You may just be a building, PHS, but I met some of the people I hold dearest within your walls.
College will be different, that is guaranteed. However, I believe it will be a good different. I think the hardest part will be leaving, not just my family but my home. Home isn’t a place or a building; my home is people, my best friends, my mom, and the people I have chosen to live with day-to-day.
I have been writing a column for this newspaper for over a year now. My brilliant editor Ted Olinger aptly named it “Finding Grace,” because my writing here has been an exploration. I haven’t found myself yet. I don’t know how I will do so, or how I will know when I am truly found. The person I am today is because of everyone with whom I have crossed paths and shared the same roads. Because of you, I am already proud of who I will inevitably become, and grateful for her.
Grace Nesbit is a senior at Peninsula High School. She lives in Lakebay.
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