By Brooke Shamon, Voices@Bedford High School

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh

My very last day of high school counted as my very favorite day of high school. Smiling faces, all dressed up and plenty of love. Some tearful goodbyes, but a great way to end the day with a barbeque on the basketball courts. Going into this day, I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed with love, and hope for the future. I imagined that saying goodbye to high school was going to be hard, bittersweet even, but I never expected to take a moment in the parking lot after the bell rang to dry a few tears. Bedford High School has been such a huge part of my life. It has given me some great memories and…some not so great ones, too. Friends, a family, and teachers. All of which I can’t imagine not seeing as I walk down the next hallway. In my four years at Bedford High, I changed, I challenged, and I grew. I would not be the person I am today without having been there.

I vividly remember my first day of high school: what I was wearing, how I did my hair and every binder I stuffed into my backpack (and realized later, that was a middle school thing. I no longer needed six binders for each class). I was excited and extremely nervous. I’m the oldest in my family, so I did not have a big sister or brother to look up to or to help guide me. That was the scariest part. (Although I must say, I always knew one sophomore, and one senior were there looking out for me.)

At that time, I had my group of friends from middle school, but a lot was happening in my life and in theirs. I think we all felt a little alone and lost. But I kept my head down and continued with the day, the week, the month and eventually the school year. In that time (freshman year), I claimed it was my year to try new things, some of which I dreamed about trying my entire life. So, I joined the cheer team. Let’s just say it wasn’t my thing. Some days were fun, but at the time, I was too uptight, too worried and too concerned about doing the wrong thing. I was too quiet to be a cheerleader. My coach and teammates were great, but at the end of the day, winter cheer was the first and last season for me.

Sophomore year came, and it was the year I got my braces off. Finally! I also received my license after turning sixteen. It was a year of milestones, but it still was far from my favorite year of high school.  From what I remember that year was a little bit of a mess for me, too. I still felt lost and was trying to figure out who I was in the sea of students vs. who I wanted to be. By the end of my sophomore year, I was sitting in one of my classes, quietly as usual, when somebody looked up and said to me, “What’s your opinion? You never speak, I want to hear what you have to say.” After that, I found myself opening up to the big, wide world of high school.

I always find myself saying that the person I was freshman and sophomore year was far different from the person I became junior and senior year. Junior year…oh wow. I learned a lot from my junior year, and I’m not just referring to my classes and homework. Going into it, I never knew what to expect, and I feel looking back at it now that I never could’ve prepared myself for a year like this. This was the year I really found my friend group. Kiran, Taylor, DD, Katy, Laney, Zach and everybody else in between. This was also the year I dated someone for the first time and let’s just say, that was interesting. He was…interesting. That year taught me a lot about trust and about what to expect (or not expect) from the world outside those four walls. By the end of the year, even through the ups and downs of it all, I exited junior year with a positive outlook on my life and the final year to come.

Senior year! It was the year we’ve all waited for since kindergarten. This was the year I turned eighteen and had my favorite birthday celebration. This was the year my friends, and I really fell into place, the year I got accepted into college (and my dream school, thank God!), and it was the year the Jonas Brothers came back (sorry I had to add that too, It’s an important piece of history). I feel like, even though senior year wasn’t exactly how I thought it would be (or how High School Musical portrayed it to be, Zac Efron and all) in a way it was better. I felt like a teenager who was ready and prepared for the next chapter of her life. I had some of the best classes this year, participated in spirit weeks, went on the whale watch, skipped a day, and had the time of my life.

High school was a round of up and downs; each day was another roll of the dice. But I always knew I’d have somebody to turn to whether that was a faculty member, a friend or even sometimes somebody new. To my best friends, thank you. I could not have done any of this without any of you. I love you guys! To a few teachers I’d like to recognize and thank: Ms. Milano, Ms. Myles, Ms. Flora, Ms.O, Mr. Caprioli, Mr. Wyso, Ms. Leshay, Mr. Nagle, Mrs. Little, Mrs. Scaltreto, Mrs. Berinato, Mr. G and many, many more. Thank you. Whether you were a teacher of mine from middle school or high school, a friendly face in the hallway or a staff member, you impacted my life at Bedford High so greatly. I could not have gotten through all these years without your support and genuine care for your students. Whether that meant understanding the concepts or making sure everything was okay (sometimes that was more of a lesson than one that was planned). I especially want to thank Ms. McDermott from the middle school. She got me here. I remember sitting in her office as an eighth-grader, patiently waiting for graduation and asking her if I could take her with me. She looked at me and said, “You can do this. You’ve got this. Anytime you need me; I’ll be right here. But I know you can do this.” She really believed in me, thank you, Ms. McDermott.

To my mom and my sister, thank you, and I love you both. I know if I make this too sappy, they’re going to cry too much so I won’t ramble on about how much they mean to me. But whether it was giving help late at night with homework, a shoulder to cry on or a person to yell at in the morning for getting me up so early, my mom was there. To my sister, Lindsay, I’m going to miss not seeing you in the hallways when I walk on campus this fall, our short but sweet car rides in the morning as we fight over the music, our sister days after school and walks during break. Oh, and one last thing, don’t even think about taking my room. I know it’s a little bit bigger, but still, I’d like to come home to my bedroom in one piece.

To BHS, you gave me a home these past four years. Somedays, you weren’t my favorite to come to (let’s face it, does any teenager really love high school?), but the second I moved my tassel from the right to the left, I felt a piece of me shift and change. During All Night Grad as the clock slowly wound down, I began to realize that these halls weren’t mine anymore. I wouldn’t have to weave my way through the crowd of classmates anymore or wait in line for the bathrooms during break. All those memories of stopping in to say hi to Ms. O or Ms. Myles, Mr. Wyso, Mr. Walsh, were suddenly just that. Memories. It’s crazy to believe that when the summer comes to an end, I won’t be returning to BHS. And the next time I walk through those doors, it will no longer be as a student. Most people know me as a sentimental person, so maybe that’s why this is so hard for me to wrap my brain around, but here it is. Thank you, BHS, and everybody at BHS for giving me these past four years. Good or bad, perfect or imperfect, high school wasn’t what I thought it would be. In a way, it was better. Now, I’m ready to hang up my cap and gown, place Bedford in my back pocket (Beantown, too) and head off to the Big Apple (well, almost). My adventure into adulthood will begin in Poughkeepsie, New York.

I’d also like to thank everybody at The Bedford Citizen for giving me this extraordinary opportunity in my senior year. This was a great chance for me to explore my passion for writing.. I hope to continue writing more articles in the near future!

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The Class of 2019 ~ Bedford High School Graduation

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen With thanks to the BHS Registrar, Bedford TV, and everyone who shared images from Graduation

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