These Are Not the Best Years of Our Lives


Margot Gwynn, Online Editor

Coming in to Prep as a freshman, I was bombarded with warnings that my four years here would fly by in the blink of an eye and with promises that these would be the best years of my life. As my days left as a Panther dwindle, I’m prompted to assess whether these statements truly are as universal and true as I was made to believe and accept as an impressionable freshman.

But if these things are true, how can the best days of my life go by so fast? How can they be gone already? I’m still a kid. I’m still learning what I love, what mistakes I shouldn’t be making, what drives me to be better than I am, and what I was put on this earth to do.

From my perspective, I agree that some aspects of high school have inevitably gone by quickly. It’s strange that in a month I’ll never eat lunch in the Great Room at my friends’ and I’s unofficially designated table again, run another 5k alongside my teammates, dread another math test, debrief my weekend with Frau Khouri, or hear Tongue Tied played at another assembly. No one truly ever wants good things such as these to end. Why give up what makes us happy? Sometimes the only way to answer this question is to hope that better things await in our future.

On the other hand, these four years mark a tremendous period of growth, and in that way, it hasn’t gone by inexplicably fast, because I know such a vast transformation could not have been possible in the blink of an eye. Many of my priorities, my passions, and my strengths have changed and evolved since I walked through the doors of McDonnell on Panther Day.

Growth doesn’t end after high school either. I know I’ll be similarly looking back at how much I’ve grown from now when I graduate from college, leave my first job, move across the country, see my kids grow up just like I’m doing now, and when I’m sitting on my front porch growing old looking on over the Crazies with my husband next to me.

I dislike that graduation is unavoidably tinged with heartache and grief. I fear too many people view it as an ending and not a beginning. This is indeed a great beginning for us all. It makes me smile to think of all the wonderful things I have not yet experienced but soon will, like the classes I’ll take next year, and the cities I’ll explore, meals I’ll appreciate, and the laughs  I’ll share with those I love throughout the course of my life.

So no. I don’t think our high school years are the best years of our lives. I’d like to think that our life is an upward trajectory, and that it keeps getting sweeter as we age. I believe my time at Prep has merely been a taste of the joys that life holds. Leaving this school physically is not abandoning everything I’ve learned here. Seattle Prep is a part of me, and a big one at that. I’m grateful to have been influenced in such wonderful ways and hope to light the world on fire.