Only five days left.




Only five days of Chemistry homework, eating lunch at Market of Choice and going to school with 15-year-olds. And let me just say, 'thank goodness.'




Don't get me wrong &

high school has been great. I have had amazing friends, teachers and mentors. I have expanded my horizons and overcome obstacles, laughed and cried, aced tests and failed them. I've taken fun classes and awful classes, enjoyed school dances and avoided school dances, and I even traveled to another country for a year to help make the four years seem less daunting. And now, it's all coming to an end.




Senior projects are over, graduation performance auditions are over, and finals are&

well still yet to come. But even though I have been longing for summer to come since, um, September, with the end now drawing near it seems too abrupt. Although I am thrilled that high school is almost over, am I really prepared for it to be over forever?




What if I'm not ready to graduate? How can I be sure that I'm actually ready for the real world? After all &

I barely paid attention to economics class. How on earth am I going to know how to fill out my W2's and W4's or balance my budget?




The truth is, I have very mixed feelings about my years at Ashland High. There were good times and bad times, and as they cancel each other out I wind up with a very neutral feeling about the entire experience. In the season finale of the TV show "Veronica Mars," Veronica has a dream about how her high school graduation might have been if her life hadn't been completely altered. When another student asks her whether or not she is excited about graduation she tells him "yes, but high school was absolutely great."




"Oh, you're one of those kids," he replied.




I don't know whether I fall into the category of "one of those kids" or not, but I sure won't be looking back on high school with distain or remorse.




As treacherous and exhausting as high school may be, I believe it is something that people need to go through before entering adulthood. It is a rite of passage, and students come out of it with the ability to face the real world that awaits them. Sure knowing how to deal with homework and the Homecoming dance are not a large part of adulthood, but minor events like these can help teenagers develop skills that can be converted into realistic adult situations (such as completing office paperwork and surviving weddings). No matter how exciting it may be to finish high school, I have to acknowledge the benefits that the experience has had on my life.




So, five more days. Five more days of passing notes, laughing with friends and enjoying inside jokes about crazy teachers. Five more days of going to bed late and waking up early, being the "top of the food chain" and savoring classrooms with no air conditioning.




Five more days.




is a senior at Ashland High School &

for five more days.