A discussion with P.E. and Mari.
P.E.: Mari we did it! We graduated! I figure since this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, we should talk about it. First, what did you think of today? (Our commencement ceremony.)
Mari: Long and repetitive but it was liberating. There were moments in which I was shocked that we had come to the stage in our lives when we finish high school because nothing is for certain once high school is over. But, our valedictorian's address and all the little conversations with my favourite teachers made up for the uncertainty. I'm ready to go forward and grad was a nice push and closure to a big part of my life. How about yourself?
P.E.: I thought it was rather underwhelming. I mean, I've always imagined the day I would graduate from high school and when it happened, it felt weird like, "Oh yeah, this is happening." I thought it would mean more to me but it really doesn't. It just felt like another day, and I don't feel particularly emotional about it. I had lots of family there and we took lots of pics, and I got some great grad gifts, but beyond that, I can't say grad impacted my life in any significant way.
Mari: Well it was "just another day". It's just a day that marks the end of your high school experience and opens the doors to new experiences. I agree that it was a little underwhelming at some points but it comes with the territory. For the past 18 years we've been building up the day that we would finally graduate from high school hence, it's quite hard for it to beat our imagination.
P.E.: Remember, seventeen years for me. I don't even think I was imagining it that much. I used to be scared of goodbyes, and now I'm more calm about it. Like, there's nothing I can do to prevent change, so I'll just let it happen and try to enjoy it. I also left pretty fast- I kind of like a clean break. Now that we've moved on from high school, how was it different from the books?
Mari: Well there was no real KABOOM! GOOD BYE HS! I got out of the ceremony confused and incapable of finding my friends or family. There were teachers hounding me to return my gown and pick up my diploma and all my friends were charging out the doors like they were being chased by hungarian horntails. It was quite different from the books. But interestingly enough, now that you mention it, I've never read about graduation in a book. There are senior year books and then the summer after books but never one that features graduation... We should write that novel :)
The ceremony was just that, a ceremony, but I think the real end of high school was prom. It's what I prepared for, it's what I looked forward to and it's what I spent the most time actually enjoying myself and getting the realization that I was done.
P.E.: I didn't really care too much about prom- I plan on going to a lot of fancy parties in my life, so I tried not to stress out when I couldn't find a dress I liked, or build prom up too much. It was fun though. There was so much family stuff going on at the time that it was nice to remember that I have a life outside my home life too. And I can't recall a graduation scene either. Weird. I'm sure it's mentioned, but it just skips by. But I mean, what did you think of high school in general? Was it as dramatic as you expected? Lots of cliques, fights, etc.?
Mari: There were cliques, I was in one, but we weren't the mean girls reincarnate. Cliques are not a replacement word for gangs guys, they are not all evil. I was in the nerd group as my brother likes to call us. There were the athletic/outgoing/popular kids as well and though I knew them and was friends with them I wasn't a regular member of their lunch party :) Here is the other thing, to me cafeterias were supposed to be the worst place ever when I first read YA. My experience was much different. In books, the cafeteria was where the new ninth graders got educated, it's where they couldn't find a table. At our school, there was a lot of room because the older kids don't want to sit inside when they can be in the halls, outside, or at a restaurants. Life is so much bigger than what we see in the books and much less dramatic.
P.E.: Maybe I was in a bit of a unique position because I don't feel like overall I was part of any group, for better or for worse. I mean, the only group I feel like I was part of all throughout high school was the Frenchie group (because obviously, French Immersion kids are the smartest and bestest!) and I remained close with the Frenchies from my elementary school. But even then, we branched out. I think that's what I got out of high school; you can be part of a lot of different things because there are different aspects to your personality. I can be in any nerd group--I'm a total nerd-- and maybe I suck as an athlete but gosh darnit I tried (& I LOVED being part of a team too!). Although my experience could be weird because the trio I was in ended up breaking up because 2/3 of them switched schools.
The cafeteria is interesting. You said it didn't matter much. In my circles, we started out in the cafeteria with our long table to the window. Then, a few weeks in, we decided that the cafeteria was NOT the place to be because of the awful food, and the fact that at my school, you could eat anywhere you wanted. So for all of tenth grade, I'm pretty sure we went out for lunch every day. We went to the nearby Tim Hortons to get away from the annoying school kids. The plaza was for sometimes, and we didn't like it much. The park was okay. Mostly, we walked around. Then in senior years, I avoided the cafeteria again and staked a spot at my locker.
I also didn't think our school was that dramatic. I mean, there were rumours in ninth grade and tenth grade about some things, but I stayed away from that. So I guess if you're looking for drama, you can have it. If not, it can be avoided. Also, people are pretty great. They're not defined by who they hang out with and everyone has their own story. That I learned through leadership camp. So what do you think university will be like? What have you learned from the books?
Mari: I haven't read much, mostly because new adult is a fairly new category. What I have managed to gather over the past while is : lots of parties, dating, alcohol and sororities/ fraternities. Honestly, I can tell you now my experience is going to be the opposite of this because I avoid a lot of those things. I'm not a party animals and so the parties know to stay away. On the academic side, I see lots of lonely studying and hopefully cute teacher's assistants :) How about you?
P.E.: I don't know what to expect. I'm moving away, so I'm sure I'll feel lonely a lot. Also, university is apparently really hard and I'm scared when it comes to thinking about exams and stuff, and just kind of not knowing anyone or seeing my family or friends. But at the same time, I feel very strongly that I need to get away from my comfort zone. I want to try things I've never tried before. I want to experience a new culture, and see a different part of life. I don't know what will happen. I think Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell calmed me down a bit because a lot of my fears are what Cath struggles with, and she ended up okay.
Mari: It will definitely be an adventure.
|Mari and P.E. at prom!|