Bryn Gallagher: At year’s end

Bryn Gallagher

With the last day of school just having finished, I thought I would take some time from full blown grade stress to think back to what I have learned. I don’t mean in a scholastic sense, I doubt any of you want to hear about Harding, velocity, SOH-CAH-TOA, Gatsby, ledes, or tenses. No, the lessons that I want to think back to at this time are the ones that were perhaps harder to learn, the personal ones.

This year I learned how hard you sometimes have to work, and how much easier it is when you have others working with you. I learned exam cramming can be an adventure, and that studying is more fun when it’s a group activity. I learned that if the company is good enough even getting to class at seven in the morning isn’t that bad (except for Mom, who hates it). Driving, I learned, isn’t that hard as long as you look for curbs (that one in the Valentino’s parking lot is a doozy) and to know where your license is at all times. I also learned how to gerry-rig a phone and change a bike tire, though I never actually got to learning the mandolin (there’s still time).

I learned what true friends are, and how easy it is for fake ones to stab you in the back. I have been betrayed, I have betrayed, I have felt as if I was the bad guy and as if all the bad guys were out to get me. I have seen personalities change. I have voiced my opinion and wished that I hadn’t only to realize that it was good that I did. I have been lied to, and about, and have lied. I learned that the most help can come from the most unexpected places and that you never know who could be your ally.

I have learned about wisdom and where it can be seen, and how little I have. I have learned some patience, but still not enough. I have learned what it is like to be noticed, and ignored. This year has been filled with sweat, blood, and tears (some wasted). It has been filled with excitement and Thomas Bailey and oh so many pointe shoes. It was filled with moments of lunchtime brilliance and that sweet sadness of senior friends graduating.

Most of all I have learned about myself, where I am and where I am going. Who I see in me, who I want to, and who I wished I didn’t. Turns out junior year was not only important because colleges will be looking at it, or because I took my first AP classes, or even because I finally got off-campus. The stress, the relief, the pain, the joy, the sickness of it all was important to who I am today. I’m a sadder, perhaps, and wiser (hopefully), but in any case a different person than the one who walked on a brand new junior at the beginning of the year.

What do you think?