From the desk of the 2018 Valedictorian

Staff Written Community

To the Class of 2018:

If you are reading this right now, take a big deep breath in and exhale slowly. No, this isn’t a yoga class with Coach Stamps, nor are you about to sing a song. Although if you feel like singing, I certainly won’t stop you. With May 25, 2018 quickly approaching, we have the perfect excuse to celebrate and sing. Our high school days are numbered, and that number quickly approaches zero. If you’re anything like me, you never thought the day would come that we would be graduating and stepping into the adult world. I never thought that I’d ever turn 16 and have a driver’s license, and even now that most of us are 18 and have been driving for nearly two years or more, I still feel as if I’m in a dream. In just a couple of weeks though, reality is going make an appearance because in just a couple of weeks, our names will be called, and we will stand up, walk towards the stage and up the steps (hopefully not tripping in the process), shake some hands, and finally, after 13 years, receive the piece of paper that acknowledges the fruits of our labor and our freedom from the walls of Morgan County High School.

While most of us are completely thrilled at the prospect of graduating and embarking upon the next journey of our lives, myself included, our time together should not be forgotten and discarded. Some of us have known each other for nearly two decades. Some of us will continue to know each other for another five. Many of us have spent 180 days together every year for the past 13 years, which amounts to 2340 days total. That’s over a third of our lives together! In these many days together, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve lost some that we’ll never forget. We’ve gained some too. We’ve fought over chicken nuggets. We suffered together in middle school when we had break taken away. We were fiercely competitive over four-square during recess in elementary school. I’m sure something interesting happened in primary school, but I had yet to arrive. All of our collective memories make us a family. We may not always like each other, but we’re a family nonetheless. On May 25, 2018, our family will be shaken when we all prepare to head our separate ways. Some of us will end up right down the road at UGA. Others are going as far away as New York. Some of us will stay right where we are right now, in Madison, our home and #1 Small Town in America. Things are going to change, no doubt about that, and in this moment, you’re probably thinking that you won’t miss this. Maybe you won’t, but if you do, Madison will always be here for you.

We’ve only got a couple of pages left in this chapter of our lives before we close it and open the next one. My wish for all of you is that your years in high school were not the best years of your life, but that the years just get better and better, and that if and when you look back, it is only to smile fondly.

All my love,

Mackenzi Barrett

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