It’s true; after all those expectations raised by movies like High School Musical, not only was high school not quite as exciting, but we couldn’t even throw our caps at our graduation ceremony. apparently, cardboard pieces in cloth are too dangerous to throw in the air at the height of one of the greatest ceremonies of our lives.

Well, that’s ok. Because it was still an unreal ceremony. After way too many grad practices in which we woke up just as early as the average school day, on May 23 it all finally came together, tears and all. After nostalgic speeches and about three hundred thirty empty diplomas (we didn’t get the legal documents until a day later) we came to the turning of the tassel, and sang our spirit song “How Far I’ll Go.” Yep, it’s the song from Moana. But it was really fitting for the moment, considering the separate journeys we were each about to embark upon, and my impending trip around the world. And I got goosebumps. And I’ll admit, a bit teary-eyed. Because, as they were constantly reminding us throughout the day, this was the very last time we would all be there together, as Kalani’s class of 2017. The day after, we would go back to our normal lives, and look ahead at our bright futures, but that night was a night of remembrance, of recollection, of bitter-sweet celebration. And at the lei ceremony I laughed out of joy and sadness more than I had in my entire life, seeing all those that I love that came and all those that I knew would all too soon be gone from my life forever.

It’s really moments like these where you realize the preciousness of individual moments, and the inevitability of passing time as well as the change that comes with it. No matter how annoying it is to admit, one thing stands true; the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. But, wiping away tears of joy as well as sadness, I can firmly say that I don’t regret any of the memories and friends I have made, and vow to embrace the experiences to come.

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