A Love Letter to My Fleeting Days of High School

Angelina Astic, Contents/Copy Editor

As I experience my final days of high school, I am struck by the countless ways in which Miami Palmetto Senior High — my teachers, faculty, administration and peers — have helped shape and change my life in the past four years.  Palmetto is the community that has affected me the most during these formative years, making me who I am today. Knowing that for the rest of my life, I can attribute so much growth and development to Palmetto is a privilege I do not take for granted. 

Freshman and sophomore years, I remained stuck in the shell of a person I did not recognize. A girl who had a lot of growth, searching and self-reflection to do. Someone who lacked the confidence and self-assurance to go forth and live her life freely. I lost myself junior year and rediscovered who I was, what my passions were and the person I want to become moving forward this year. 

Palmetto is, without a doubt, known for its steady stream of famed alumni who are making their own impacts on society across the nation and world. Palmetto Panthers have forged their own paths, contributing to the general wellbeing and advancement of our world. However, many of these notable figures are joined by names who have never made headlines. Names who will never be read in history textbooks. Names of hometown heroes, local vendors, owners of small businesses, parents, business people, public servants and others who make up the landscape of day-to-day life.

Fame does not automatically equate to prosperity and, as everyone knows, is not the only path to so-called success. As previously mentioned, there are also many names that you may have never heard of. My class, the class of ’22, is filled with hopes, ideas and futures, all attached to names that are not yet known. Sure, we have made an effect in our immediate circle, but we have yet to spread our wings, fully embrace our arsenal of capabilities and go forth in search of how we can best contribute in an ever-changing community.  

Hard work reaps unequivocal benefits. I think that’s the most important lesson I have learned at Palmetto. I do not just mean studying in the early hours of the morning for an exam or putting in the extra time to perfect an essay. Hard work is heartfelt, ambivalent, rewarding and decisive. Heartfelt; The energy put in takes so much love, energy and dedication. Ambivalent; painstaking days and nights spent typing away at a keyboard while finishing assignments eventually leads to joy when all the tenacity pays off. Rewarding; the information, experiences and moments of uncertainty have created a future filled with uncertain promises, ones I am responsible for fulfilling. Decisive; It takes precision and self-assurance to trust oneself in their pursuit of a “perfectly imperfect” academic, extracurricular and socially balanced lifestyle. 

Part of me selfishly yearns for one more year of high school. One more year to make memories, meet new people, forge friendships and soak up as much information as I can. But, I also have the unselfish desire to continue on. To give and to grow. Charging forward knowing that I have been provided a foundation of knowledge for me to spring off of in my post-secondary years. For the next four years, I get to call a new school home. Despite that, I will always, for the rest of my life, be a Palmetto Panther at heart.