For their final article, seniors on Guide Post were asked to write a reflection 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 Nicole Nazar had to say.

When the bell rang at 8:00 AM on September 4, 2019, it signaled not only the beginning of first period, but also the start of our journey together. A raw excitement buzzed in the air during those thrilling times. Finally, we were students of that beautiful yet daunting building on Polo Road that we would stare at with wonder as we were growing up. We were ready to take on anything, feeling the fresh page of a new chapter unfold right before us. 

A week before school began, sports tryouts took place in the gym. Stepping into the sea of timid freshmen and tumultuous upperclassmen, I was completely lost until students were split by grade level. Us freshmen, eager to get involved at North High, vastly overpowered the room, and as I looked around I found many familiar faces, and many totally new. Little did I know each of these faces would make their own unique mark on the new chapter of high school. These faces soon became best friends, teammates, peers, and eventually came together to create something eternal– a community. 

The path of “finding oneself” confuses all adolescents. Many of us simply think: What could that possibly mean? I don’t feel lost in the first place. Yet, it is not the idea that a personality exists out there somewhere, waiting to be found, but rather that our personalities are shaped by our experiences and are in a continual state of development during our youthful years. Right now, everything is a learning experience. Yet we learn and discover together, our identities heavily impacted by each other. 

Surrounding you now are the very faces that have accompanied you on the same journey over the past four years.

Nicole Nazar pictured delivering her speech at the graduation ceremony (Credit: Nicole Nazar).

Look around, you might spot your first friend, your go-to project partner, your fellow peer leader, your childhood crush, and everyone in between.

Look around, the experiences of the last four years are held within the expressions of your peers. 

Look around, and you’ll find memories surrounding you.

Class of 2023, this is likely the last time we’ll ever be gathered all together. After countless pep rallies, class assemblies, and Battle of the Classes spent together, this is our final run. Over the years, we have endured so much, from bake sales being canceled to multiple bathroom violations to a global pandemic. But we’ve stuck together through it all, and we will continue to share these moments for the rest of our lives; nobody will ever be able to take away the memories and relationships built throughout our time here– they have impacted us deeply. Who we were, who we are, and who we will become. 

When you see a familiar face in a supermarket 20 years from now, the memories of your teenage self will bring you back to these four golden years, from a fearful freshman to a self-esteemed senior. Your memories will conclude with a flashback to today, sitting in Tilles Center with your loosely fitted cap and gown. During these future run-ins, you will remark to your child beside you, “We went to high school together!” just as our parents do now, and the brief yet inevitable exchange of a few memories will cause an eruption of joy. Class of 2023, we are for life. 

Some may call today bittersweet. Yet, the sweet clearly outweighs the bitter. The relationships you have here are with people you can always count on, fall back on, and reach out to. This loyalty is a virtue embedded in the core of North High morale. We are lucky to all experience this community– the true magic of Great Neck. 

No matter what any of us decide to pursue, I have no doubt that we’ll find satisfaction and success in our endeavors. Growing from children to adults in an environment like North High, one that pushes us to reach our full potential, is something that none of us should take for granted. We are the future leaders of society, and whether it is your dream to become a doctor, lawyer, pop star, actress, or real estate mogul, our four years have equipped us with the knowledge and experience to begin making our marks in the world. I urge you all to bring that same raw excitement that beamed from us as freshmen to the next chapter of our lives and beyond. 

Gathered on the steps on the last day of classes, for the first time we seniors wished that 2:33 PM would never come. After spending four years relentlessly counting down the minutes until the final bell, this time with each second that passed by, tears welled in our eyes. When the bell sounded its final ring on June 13, 2023, it did not signal the end of our journey. Class of 2023, our journey together has not neared its end. It has only just begun. 

Lastly, many of us would agree that if high school has taught us one thing, it is that nothing will ever match the unconditional love and support of our families. Thus, I could not conclude my honor of speaking before you all without thanking my family for never pushing me, but always supporting me, namely my sister Michelle, who has been the best role model, guidance counselor, friend, and confidant through it all. Michelle, the world needs more like you!

And thank you all for being the best peers a girl could ask for. It is because of you that we have all been able to experience the greatest four years together. Class of 2023, I’ll miss you dearly, but this is not the end!