The end of 2013: leaving Decatur behind

With the end of the school year comes the beginning of sorting through endless school work and publications. Of course, hand-in-hand is likely the nostalgia of pictures and stories from the beginning of what many call a long journey. Photo by Kira Hynes.

With the end of the school year comes the beginning of sorting through endless school work and publications. Of course, hand-in-hand is likely the nostalgia of pictures and stories from the beginning of what many call a long journey. Photo by Kira Hynes.

As 2013 comes to a close, that bittersweet feeling of “the end” starts to greet those in transition.

For many seniors, leaving Decatur is like leaving their forever-home, being the close-knit community it’s notorious as.

“Being in such a tight community, it’s like that feeling like someone is watching is not just a feeling,” senior Asa Wochatz said.

Considering that this year marks the 100th graduating class, the excitement for the end of the school year is huge.

“I’m so excited to be able to leave high school and see what college has in store,” senior Roger Hunt said.

Its change, however, is so drastic that for some, it’s hard to fathom leaving.

“It’s very shocking to think that there are only [a few] days left of high school ever,” senior Rachel Reuter said. “It seems like my life has culminated into this one whole event and now that it’s about to be over.”

As the seniors move on, underclassmen and upperclassmen alike will miss them terribly because, although uncharacteristic in the movies, few people are only friends within their grade.

“I feel like I really connected with a lot of the senior class this year,” junior Haegan Altizer said. “It really just won’t be the same without them.”

While the underclassmen prepare to take on the roles of the next grade, the seniors are faced with recognizing just how different things are about to be.

“I’m a little frightened to be leaving because this is all that I’ve ever really known, but at the same time,there’s a whole world out there beyond these four square miles,” Reuter said, “I’m ready for a new adventure. I’ll miss my friends and teachers and my familiar little town but there’s so much more out there for me and all of us.”

In light of the close community, many of the most important lessons aren’t happening in the classroom, and in that sense, the benefits of a world outside of a classroom aren’t as foreign to many students.

“In my four years of high school, I feel like I learned more outside of school than I did in it,” Wochatz said.

No matter how much of a connection a student has with Decatur, it’s clear that leaving will never be easy, but it’s a part of living that students have to embrace.

“Decatur will always be a part of what made me who I am,” Reuter said, “and it’s the place I’ll think of when I say that I miss my home.”