Today, I read this letter and I found myself getting choked up with a surprising rush of emotion at the arrival of this farewell. My, how time flies! Can you believe we've been together 18+ years? No, neither can I. We've been through a lot, you and I - the ups, the downs, the in-betweens. I'll never forget the all-nighters, the final crams, the A's, the F's, the walks to school, the lunches, the recesses. You even stuck with me through my awkward years, which is more than I can say for that "popular" group of girls in 6th grade. Remember? They stated that they had to "vote" on whether or not to play with me at recess. I voted "not" and played with Heidi instead. We're still friends, you know.
I've sure learned a lot from you. In fact, I find it appropriate to say that you've been one of the most generous contributors to my memory, filling countless cabinets and boxes with everything from the factual pages from old textbooks to the well-worn, well-cherished pages of my own experience.
I have to apologize, dear School. I haven't always had the warmest feelings towards you. You know what they say, you never fully appreciate something till it's gone. I agree, and would add that the appreciation grows with each day of separation. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, I'm really going to miss you... And to think that just 2 weeks ago I was more than happy to be rid of you, once and for all. Oh, but I'll never forget the passion that we shared as we tackled these past 5 years together. You've truly shaped me into the artist and "intellectual" (I think every graduate has earned that title) I am today.
I suppose I've always known this day would come. 18 years of sprinting through deserts, up mountains, and practically scaling those steep cliff walls, and at last, I find myself here, atop the pinnacle of my academic mountain, timidly gazing over at this remarkable view of the great beyond. A sudden moment of hesitation sweeps over me, I can't bring myself to jump. Will I fall or will I fly?
Maybe someday in the future, as I study the surrounding beauty of a new mountain view, I'll steal a glimpse of your majestic summit as you peek through a nearby cloud at me. Perhaps I'll return to take on your trails, trodden by the countless "masters" and "doctors" before me. Whatever the circumstance, whenever the season, I will remember you fondly and forever as I cherish and build upon each lesson you've bestowed.
Ever Your Student,