Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Graduated!!!

A few weeks ago actually. :) haha...but it was a very fun day as far as graduations go.

The morning started off pretty early. We didn't have classes on graduation day, but we did have to come to school around 9am (one hour after normal school day starts) for graduation practice. I was up much, much earlier than that to finish up some last minute things (finishing up my high school career in the way I did most of it ;) and opened my door early that morning to a very nice surprise...
A great way to wake up early on graduation day :)

"Behind the Scenes" picture my sister later sent
A few funny things about this:
1) Apparently, my sister had wanted to do this on my 18th birthday six months ago, but I was awake way too late that night for her to be able to do this sneakily. I went to sleep pretty early the night before graduation, so she quietly blew up all these balloons and did this! It is technically Pinterest inspired but she decided not to use a trash bag, and it was much nicer that way.
2) I'm a pretty sappy person and was not excited to graduate like every other person. I love my High School and all the experiences I've had during the 4 years, so I was basically tearing up all through graduation week. But opening the door to this fun surprise made me smile/chuckle, and that was nice. :)
3) My sister obviously has magical breath because these balloons are stilled blown up...3 weeks later.

After finishing up some stuff I actually first went to my former Intermediate school to visit my 6th grade teacher. It was an interesting experience, one because upon walking into her classroom it seemed like her day brightened up a lot to see an old, familiar face and that made my day. Then after talking to her for a little bit I dropped into another old teacher's room and all her 6th grade students were so awed at me because the teacher made a huge deal out of my rank and stuff and it was a weird moment because I remember sitting in those same desks in 6th grade thinking of graduation being soooo far away. It was like a weird mirror into the past, realizing all that lies ahead of these 6th graders and how far I'd come.

After that was graduation practice! We were escorted by police cars as we traveled in 12 buses to the place our graduation would take place. I was pretty convinced we would mess something up because no one seemed very serious at practice...haha. It was also moment I realized I don't mind not seeing some of those people ever again. :)

After practice we were dropped off at the High School, and I said goodbye to my dear HS for the last time. :'( It's weird that you spend hours upon hours in a place for years, and then all of a sudden it's the last time you'll ever be there.
Yeah I blacked out the school name... :)

Then my friends and I went out for lunch! :) I love Panera but I totally ordered the wrong type of salad...I meant to order Greek and got Caesar, which is basically just lettuce. Oops. (#FirstWorldProblems) Oh well, it was a very enjoyable lunch with a bunch of great friends.
BAD SALAD. But I still love my favorite Med Veggie :)
After lunch and some ice cream it was time to go home and get ready! In true Maria fashion I didn't leave when I should have and got stuck in some wonderful traffic. We're not in like LA where traffic is terrible everyday, but you should really leave early on graduation weekends when thousands of people are headed the same place you are. :p

Yay traffic. Hey it's my favorite building!
But my friend and I weren't actually that late because a lot of people were just hanging outside the check-in place with family. :)
Picture of the lines of graduates waiting for the ceremony to begin!

I actually really enjoyed our ceremony. I've been to all 4 graduations during my time in High School (my brother's and then 2 for this volunteering ambassador program) and I thought mine was the most entertaining, but that might have just been because it was my own. Everyone seemed to have so much personality on stage and we gave a standing ovation to a student who graduated that has down syndrome (I believe, not 100% sure) and that was a very sweet moment.  With over 600 students to hand diplomas to in less than 2 hours, it's notable when people make fun faces on stage or we take a moment to give a standing ovation to a deserving individual!
Before I went up

After I went up :)

Being artsy? haha 
I left near the end when the whole place was nearly empty and quiet and it was almost a weird foreshadowing (?) closing to High see it go from super crowded/hundreds of people to completely empty, dead silent. Normally this is the very last school thing for graduates, but due to all the snow days we had, we had on more Senior event the following Monday where we got to see each other.
Last school event, Senior Breakfast!

And that was the end of my High School career. It really was an amazing time full of great people and opportunities, and created a strong base for wherever I go next. Now I have about two months until I head off to college and travel new paths. :)

Graduation Flowers from family :)

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