Imagine the moment you first walked into Edison as a freshman. How did it feel to be surrounded by students of all grades, including the 17 to 18 year old intimidating seniors? As a new 14 to 15 year old fresh out of middle school, where you were once at the top of the social pyramid of your old environment, were you worried about acclimating to the new environment and making friends? Did you do things as a high school freshman that you never thought you’d be capable of?
Now, fast forward to graduation day. Envision this: your peers, the individuals you’ve known since freshman year until now. Whether it was a brief glance or nod of acknowledgment, a casual greeting in the hallways, or a deep friendship formed over the years, they all watch as you confidently walk across the stage, shake hands and receive your diploma from the principal.
Take a moment to imagine who the valedictorian and salutatorian speakers are – perhaps someone you barely know, an acquaintance, or even a close friend. Or maybe, you find yourself in the prestigious position of being this year’s valedictorian or salutatorian. It’s surreal to think that graduation, an event that once seemed distant, is now less than a month away.
As this milestone approaches, we all experience a range of emotions. Some of us are relieved to leave school behind, while others feel a sense of sadness at the thought of parting ways with friends and old teachers. Some of us find ourselves overwhelmed by a mix of emotions, while others struggle to process the fact that we’ll soon bid farewell to our alma mater.
To gain insight into the sentiments of our Edison class of 2023 seniors and their feelings towards graduation, I interviewed several members of our 12th-grade community, aiming to understand the general consensus as we get ready to embark on a new chapter in our lives.
“Graduating is a bittersweet feeling. Though I am excited to start a new chapter and grow up, I’m going to miss all the fun things that I did, all the nice people that I met, all the fun memories that I made in the school, and how involved I am in the [school] community,” said Veda Rao.
“My four years of high school at Edison went by really fast. I am definitely ready to graduate and start a new journey to my college life. I had a very great experience throughout high school, especially the pandemic transition. At every ending, there’s a new beginning, and I just have to be ready,” said Vanita Kowlessar .
“I don’t think I’m ready because grade-wise I’m not doing extremely well, so I’m worried about college. Graduation is scary, and my post-grad plans are to catch up on my sleep. I am very sleep-deprived right now,” said William D’Silva.
As we approach graduation, it’s clear that the emotions surrounding this milestone vary among Edison seniors. While some are eager to begin a new chapter, others may feel a mix of both excitement and apprehension simultaneously.
Moreover, when asked about their favorite moments at Edison, the participants replied with:
“The people and the enjoyable events we had at Edison are what I’ll miss the most. Coming back in person after two years was especially enjoyable during junior year; it was definitely an adjustment, but other than that, I really loved meeting new people, and developing friendships that will last a lifetime. Senior year is a different story; I want to say, ‘It was a heck of a year.’ PGC, school clubs/organizations, LTC, which was an overnight trip hosted by Key Club, and a variety of other aspects made it very unique and enjoyable. Even though I’m ready to leave, I’m going to miss my senior year,” said Gian Kaur.
“Although school is eh, the thing I really enjoyed was making a confession page. I understand it may not be a memory in school or enjoying those events that you pay a few or more bucks for, but I enjoyed sharing confessions and helping people in difficult situations,” said an anonymous 12th grader.
“Some of my favorite memories that I will miss most about Edison are the bonds that I made with people within Edison. I will miss the security guards always checking up and saying hello. I will miss my PGC class and outreaches with the freshmen every Wednesday,” said Kowlessar .
“After-school walks to Jamaica Avenue and getting a dollar slice with my friends,” said Desroches.
Many of us have fond memories of school events, dances, club meetings, friends, teachers, and staff members that have left a lasting impact on us. These memories hold a special place in our high school journey.
Speaking of the highlights of our high school journeys, is there anything we learned during our time at Edison that was so profound that we will carry it with us for years to come, even after we leave Edison?
“Probably from my shop class, cybersecurity, my certifications, and stuff I learned in that class. It would be very helpful in the future,” said D’Silva.
“Something I learned that I’ll carry from years to come after graduation would be how to connect with people, and just saying hi can do so much more than saying nothing at all,” said Tasnim Naser.
“One of the main things I learned is to always push past hurdles and finish strong,” said Rao.
“Mr. Perez’s life advice and his IT class,” said Desroches.
Our memories of high school, whether they involve friendships, events, classes, or life lessons, are invaluable and will remain with us in the years to come. Despite the challenges and ups and downs, the experiences at Edison have shaped us into the individuals we are today. As we prepare to bid farewell to our alma mater, we carry with us the unique stories and emotions that define our high school journey.
Moreover, when you think of Edison, what’s one word that can sum up your experience here?
“Transformative; It was a period of significant personal growth and development. During those years, I had the opportunity to explore various academic subjects, discover my passions, and engage in extracurricular activities that shaped my interests and skills. I encountered new ideas, perspectives, and challenges, which broadened my understanding of the world and helped me develop crucial life skills such as critical thinking, time management, and teamwork. High school also presented me with opportunities to form meaningful relationships with peers and mentors, fostering personal and social growth. Overall, the experiences and lessons learned during high school had a profound impact on shaping my identity and preparing me for future endeavors,” said Kaur.
“Different,” said Desroches.
“Eventful,” said Rao.
“In one word, my Edison experience would be crazy. I say this because everyday something new is happening, and not all of it would be happy,” said Naser.
“Fascinating because I made it to school every day to learn something new. It was inspiring to learn things that I never learned before and figuring out a way to solve it,” said Kowlessar .
“Stressed; I would say stressed because I constantly stress. I don’t know if it’s from Edison, but in general, I’m always stressed,” said D’Silva.
“Draining; school was an escape route for me to leave my house, but school would always drain my energy. It’s not really a good place to be,” said an anonymous 12th grader.
These words encapsulate the diverse range of experiences and feelings associated with our time at Edison. From personal growth to challenges, from inspiration to stress, from fascination to feeling drained, these words capture the complexities of our high school journey.
Looking ahead, let’s consider how we envision ourselves five to ten years from now.
“I see myself finishing my undergrad and getting ready to start my graduate degree in psychology,” said Naser.
“Hopefully in a stable place,” said Desroches.
“I have not looked that far ahead. I would hope to get a job in the cybersecurity field or something related to computer science. In five years, I will probably just be graduating college, and in ten years, I will likely be settled down in my career,” said D’Silva.
“I envision myself with a secure career, a great house, and enough money to live a comfortable but chaotic life. I see myself traveling the world, discovering new cultures, and attending music festivals with my friends,” said Kaur.
These diverse aspirations and life plans show that while we have shared a common educational environment, our paths beyond Edison diversify significantly. Some of us plan to pursue STEM fields, while others aim to continue their education or plan work in the humanities and social sciences. And for some, the future remains uncertain. However, as time progresses, we will gain clarity and direction, paving the way for each of our own journeys.
The approaching end of the year for the Edison Class of 2023 evokes a whole wave of different emotions among our school’s seniors. While some eagerly anticipate the next chapter, others may feel sadness or uncertainty. Yet, our time spent at Edison has forged lasting connections and cherished memories that will forever bind us together. We celebrate the hard work and dedication we have poured into our high school careers, the friendships and connections we have formed, and the joyful moments we have experienced.
As we bid farewell to Edison, we carry with us the legacy of our alma mater, knowing that it will always hold a special place in our hearts. Here’s to the graduating class of 2023, may our future endeavors be full of growth, fulfillment, and the continued pursuit of our dreams. Edison Class of 2023 signing off.