The past three years have been filled with laughs, tears, highs, lows, friendships, heartbreak, excitement, disappointment, hard work, meltdowns, happy dances, busy schedules and forming unbreakable bonds. It’s hard to believe I only have 9 months — or 274 days, 6,570 hours, 394,200 minutes, 23,652,000 seconds — left of being a Bloomfield Hills Schools student. Tick tock … time is fading away.

Like any other chapter, high school thus far has been full of good and bad. Even through the most bitter times, I am able to recall times I have laughed my hardest. Even through the most stressful times, I admire how much knowledge I have gained throughout this process. And even through the most chaotic times, I appreciate all of the memories I have experienced. When I move onto my next chapter, I look forward to the change I will be surrounded by, but I am also very aware that I will more than likely miss my hometown.

Familiarity — something that’s easy to under-appreciate as you go through the motions of your daily life. Waking up and greeting my teachers as I walk through the big silver doors, cheering for the home team with my classmates, waving to friendly faces in the halls, getting in the spirit of spirit week, sitting at the same table for lunch everyday, settling into the comfy chairs in the media center, knowing how much I belong at this hectic place.

But also coming home from practice to my mom’s stuffed pasta shells, family TV nights, biking to my neighbors houses to go on adventures and tasting bits of my childhood everywhere I turn. From the Brooklyn Bagels we pick up from every Sunday, the Coney Island where we used to get milkshakes, the coffee shop where I like to study — each contributing one bite or sip or sigh to the last 17.5 years of my life.

Over these next 23,652,000 seconds, I will experience the many lasts of high school. My last halftime dance in front of the student section, my last hug with the teachers who have watched me grow, my last finals and spirit weeks, my last time watching the sunrise as I drive to school in the morning.

So no matter how much I might dread waking up before 7:00, dragging my feet to a three-hour dance rehearsal – or feel as if I’ve been going through the motions of what a day in my life has looked like for the past four years – I know deep down how much I will miss the familiarity of it all. As I look toward all of the freshmen, sitting where I once sat, and have three years of amazing and challenging things in front of them, I can’t help but feel a bit of envy for the unforgettable memories they are going to make along the way.

Whether you’re like me, a sentimental high school senior, scared yet excited to  leave the familiar — or the parent of a member of the class of 2022 or approaching a move or retirement or some other bittersweet transition — I hope you’ll take the time to reminisce about everything that brought you to the present.

Who knows where the next stage of my life will take place or what life has in store for my friends? Despite how eager we are to walk out of those silver doors forever, I won’t ever forget the comfort this place brings and everyone and everything that make it feel like home.