I’m working on it: Beginning of the end

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By Amanda Lee, Web columnist

August 1, 2011.

My first last day of high school.

My brother’s first day of high school.

My sister’s first day of middle school.

August 1, 2011, was a day of firsts. It was the first day of school for all Kamehameha Maui students. It was the first time I had driven to school. It was the first time my sister put on a Kamehameha student uniform. It was the first time my brother wore the Kamehameha high school uniform.

August 1, 2011, was also a day of lasts. It was the last time my mom would wish me a successful first day of high school. It was the last time I would be holding a Kamehameha school schedule in my hand as I navigated my classes. It was the last time I would sit down for a back-to-school assembly. It was the last welcome back speech I will ever hear from my principals.

In 9 months, my journey as a high school student will come to a close. In 9 months, I will wear a blue lei over my dress whites and receive a diploma solidifying my commencement. In 9 months, I will say goodbye to my high school and move on to my next adventure.

I still remember my first day of high school. I wore the navy shirt and the khaki shorts because I was finally allowed to wear them, because I was finally a high school student. I got dropped off in front of the school and heaved my overstuffed backpack to the bus stop. I sat on the green bench and double checked and triple checked everything. I wanted to make sure I was ready for school.

I remember looking at the building and seeing the words “I mua E Nä Poki’i.” They loomed large and heavy, full of intimidating challenges and obstacles that I wasn’t sure I could overcome. I sat there for a while, gathering the nerve to go in.

Finally, I managed to do it. Inside were students milling around, bigger and taller students than I. Suddenly, I felt a lot smaller in my uniform; I was scared. I managed to maneuver a path to my locker. Classes passed by in a flurry of colors, instruction and faces.

Slowly, high school lost its scary edge and began to feel like a second home. That was the year my class won second in homecoming. The next year we won first in not only homecoming, but also in ’Aha Mele.

I grew in high school. I learned to stretch my limits, to come out of my shell. I learned to stop hiding and to stand out. I evolved and blossomed into who I am today. Even now though, I feel like my journey isn’t over. I still feel like I’m growing, still learning, still blossoming. I am still working on being me.

But, it is my senior year. August 1 has signaled the beginning of the end. I won’t always be a high school student. I will soon be a high school graduate. Time is slipping through my fingers  and there’s nothing I can do to make it slow down. The time has come to give everything I have, not only for me, but for every senior.

The time has arrived for us to put ourselves in the spotlight, to bring back the dreams we pushed to the side, to accomplish the goals we thought were too high. It is time to i mua as warriors of Kamehameha. It is time to be a senior.

Good luck class of 2012, may we accomplish everything we set out to do as freshmen and more.