To Be Continued

For their final article, seniors on Guide Post were asked to reflect on their four years at North. What were their memories and accomplishments? Regrets? What would they have done differently? What advice would they give to their younger self? Here’s what Maya Mishan Ezroni had to say.

As I sit here writing this mandatory goodbye, I wonder what the word goodbye means. Does goodbye mean the end of a story? Does goodbye mean the beginning of a hello? Does goodbye mean never again? 

Maya Mishan Ezroni pictured with her diploma at graduation. (Credit: Maya Mishan Ezroni)

While the clock raced towards 2:33 p.m. on that Tuesday afternoon that we will all remember so clearly for the rest of our lives, I wasn’t crying like those who waved goodbye to the time that passed by; I wasn’t crying like those who hugged their friends who may not be their tomorrow; I wasn’t crying because I know goodbye simply does not exist. 

How could one say goodbye to a life that has become a part of them—a life that shaped their whole being? My four years at North weren’t like any story that you might find on the Barnes & Noble bookshelves or Netflix movie sections. My life at North felt like something more real, something bigger than even myself today. We all may have found either our loves or our family, our friends or our enemies, our idols or our inspirations, our favorite subjects or our favorite lunch places, or maybe, more specifically, just ourselves. And yet, no matter if we had had the best—or worst—four years of our lives, we came out of it different, never the same as that kid four years ago. At least, I wouldn’t recognize that girl, not sure about you. But I know I wouldn’t, and I’m glad I wouldn’t. 

My name is Maya Mishan Ezroni, and I’m the girl who didn’t cry during our final moments together for a reason. This is not goodbye. 

Saying goodbye would mean saying goodbye to myself. People know me as the loud, confident, outspoken girl that I am, the girl that lets nothing get in her way. But would you believe me if I told you that that girl didn’t exist four years ago? Well, guess what—she didn’t. She really didn’t. 

I came to North from a different town and a different culture. You would think that people start high school as strangers, but that is far from the reality here at North. You start as cliques and clingy groups with self-attributed names. It’s truly a frightening culture. Now try fitting in while being an absolute nobody. The only thing you could possibly cling onto was the familiar that didn’t want you and the new that you tried to change into. And as you may guess correctly, that didn’t work out so well. The voice I did have only became smaller as every part of me changed for anyone but me. But I’ve got to say, COVID saved me. 

COVID gifted me the isolation we are all so fearful of, but all need so desperately. The isolation that allowed me to discover myself; the isolation that welcomed a new beginning. And so, atypical for the high school experience, I started high school again, this time during sophomore year. 

And I’m not saying that it was a new start where everything went uphill from. But it was a start where I started to love myself; it was a start where I started to discover what I valued and what I no longer would waste my time or feelings on. And from there, I could proudly say, it went uphill. 

Junior year was the year when I started to become me. Yes, it took three years into high school, but hey, sometimes it takes a lifetime. But I must say that it was only till senior year that I became the person I mentioned earlier who loves themselves. I wish I can tell you why it took so long, why it took four years to finally be able to wish for nothing but health for a birthday wish. 

Four years in, and all I can say is thank you. Thank you for letting me find my best friends. Thank you for letting me find my family. Thank you for letting me know that there are people who care about me—people who love me for who I am and support me with all that they can. Thank you for the happiness and gratitude I feel every day. I understand that there are some of us who are thankful, others who have long been ready to escape, but we can’t ignore the thank you that we owe North. 

High school wasn’t perfect for us all. It wasn’t like the books or movies we grew up admiring. But this is our story. And as boring or dramatic as it may have been, we are the main characters of our lives. And yet, we are not like those books or movies that end after an ending. We’re more than that because we’re not simply an ending that says goodbye. As we welcome the continuation, not a new beginning, of the lives we’re living, let us say “to be continued” instead of “goodbye.” 

So to be continued North. This is not goodbye. This is to be continued because North will forever be a part of our stories, our lives, and our history. 

Thank you.