Teen Corner – Coming to grips with graduation for the Class of 2022


By Sharon Woodbury, Contributing Writer

As I stood in the Harlan County High School library last week with many of my friends getting ready to take cap and gown pictures, I realized these two truths.

Graduation time is almost here.

Our lives are about to change.

Time is moving ahead, and we are growing up. The Class of 2022 is moving forward. We are moving on to new experiences. Most of us are going to college. Some of us are staying home. Even going to the military. We are all in the process of change.

It is a sad time, but also a joyous one, one of accomplishments and change. We walk across that stage in hopes of finding ourselves. We hear speech after speech and barely pay attention, We cry and laugh. We wonder what comes next. We dream that eventually our children will walk across the stage, the stage to their future. The same one we will walk across and shake the hands of the people who have watched over us throughout our four high school years.

We remember teachers who taught us math, science, history. The list goes on, but most importantly we remember the teachers who have taught us the lessons of life.

The teachers at our school more often than not give us advice and treat us as if we were the best of friends, with the respect for studenst who have worked day in and day out to accomplish their goals. A teacher once told me that “change comes in seasons. You can change with it or be stuck in that one moment.”

Standing in that library next to my friends, realizing that we were all about to go our separate ways, is one of the most difficult moments of my life because it makes me realize change is soon going to be upon us and it is unavoidable. Some welcome the change and others dread the moment. I am still in the realization and preparation phase, while other students say, “I’m just having fun with it.”

Being a student at Harlan County High School has been a roller-coaster experience from having a normal freshman year to being hit with a devastating pandemic to coming back and never being able to see each other’s faces. It was so difficult for me to wonder if we’d even be able have a graduation. That’s why when we walk across the graduation stage we will be able to say we did it. It was fun, and we are proud to have been Harlan County High School students.

(Sharon is a senior at Harlan County High School and a student in John Henson’s English/writing class)