Thunderbirds fly the coop



Graduation from Bellevue Video Yearbook on Vimeo.

“Graduating is like a puppy without a leash. It’s exciting and scary,” senior Rebecca Sis said. “It’s the beginning of our lives without our parents watching over us and giving us advice. When we graduate it’s like being pushed into the real world with nothing but a couple of band aids.”

Students trudged through the halls anticipating the final bell that rang on May 22. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors looked forward to their next three months of freedom before returning back to Bellevue West, as seniors walked out of the doors knowing it was their last time walking the halls as a high school student.

“All I’ve known for 12 years is get up and go to school,” senior Anthony Hampton said.

Though it is going to be a big adjustment leaving high school and continuing on with the next chapter in their lives, students learned lessons over the past four years that will help carry them through life.

“I learned to be open minded about taking classes because I wasn’t open at all to taking Creative Writing and now that is what I’m majoring in in college,” senior Sue Yi said.

While high school might have sparked newfound interests and passions for some, others looked at high school as a way to connect with others.

“I’ve learned you should be friends with everyone,” senior Haelee Kowalski said.

Some students believe that connecting with their peers is one of the most important aspects of school.

“Oh my gosh, I’m going to cry. I’m going to miss the people because these people I’ve been going to school with since the first grade. Once we graduate, it will be the first time we are all separating,” senor Taylor Kuhlman said.

Though students are leaving behind high school for good, they are taking memories with them. For most seniors, high school is a place they will truly miss.

“[I’m going to miss] definitely my teachers,” senior Dan Moses said. “I’m going to miss coming to class everyday and seeing people.”

In high school, people often continue their education with friends they have known since kindergarten. Being around a familiar face is always comforting, but when venturing off to college, students are a little frightened by the unknown.

“I will miss my friends most. It’s nice walking down the hallway and being like ‘Hey!’ Now it’s so different because I’m going to be the scared little freshman awkwardly in the corner,” senior Kimi Miller said.

As seniors graduate they begin to reminisce on the good times they have shared with friends and teachers at Bellevue West. High school sets a foundation for the rest of their lives. Seniors will always look back and remember the lessons that will help them further down the road. On the last day, as Kuhlman said, tears were shed as seniors walked the halls for the very last time.

“It’s like Dr. Suess said: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,’” senior Toby Brooks said, “That’s my motto now.”

Graduation photos can be bought here.

Story by West Wind Features Editor and  Hitting the Runway Blogger Ashley Quintela