Learning to leave high school behind

With only a few days left of my high school career, so many things are coming to an end and it’s hard to accept. Friendships, sports, familiar faces, teachers, everything, it’s going to be left behind as we, the graduates of the Class of 2018, embark on a new journey in our lives.

Beginning something new is the easy part — it’s the goodbye that’s hard. Being a Harlan County Black Bear for the past four years has been the best time of my life, a period I’m sure I will reflect on for the rest of my life. I will greatly miss it and everyone who was part of this chapter in life.

I have created a lifetime of memories and became best friends with people I never met before high school.

Leaving such an awesome place and the people in it is horrifying to think about. Venturing out into the world is all a part of growing up, but it doesn’t make it any less scary. College will be extremely tough, distant and even lonely at times. But that is why I am so thankful for the bonds I have created here at HCHS.

Realizing that it’s the last of things tears at our hearts. No more prom, no more Friday night football, no more homecoming, no more anything.

But realizing that it has now become the firsts of things, that is what scares me a little. It’s like the first day of school, you’re not sure what to do, you’re shy and worried. But I can honestly say our teachers have prepared us the best they can and all of us seniors are truly grateful for that.

So, this article is for the 2018 seniors, the soon to be “has beens.”

We really have done it. We have survived the best/worse four years of our lives. We’re all getting a diploma, we’re all moving on to something more, and most importantly, we’re all going to make something of ourselves.

It’s sad to leave the place that’s been my home, but the next chapter of my life begins now and I cannot express the gratitude and happiness to have been able to go through this journey with the graduating class.

Here’s to us, the Class of 2018. Best of luck with the future.



Grayson Raleigh is a senior at Harlan County High School and is a member of the Bear Tracks newspaper staff and a student in the communications/creative writing class at HCHS. This is a continuing series of columns produced by student writers.