Senior column: Colin Gregory — “For me, high school was neither a negative nor a positive experience. It was only that — an experience.”

Colin Gregory, Staff Writer

You’re probably not reading this.
If you are, thank you. You’re my hero.
If you’ve ever read anything in “The Tiger Print” that has my name attributed to it, I owe you a hug, a high five and a firm handshake.
Even if you hated what I wrote.
Even if you hated that I never sugarcoated my opinion.
Even if you hated me for calling you ignorant. C’mon, I know there’s a few of you out there.
This is me thanking you. Seriously.
You reading my words gives me all the justification I need to keep doing it.
I’ve written about everything from the Royals, to gun control, to rising rappers, to same-sex marriage.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s having people know my opinion. But nobody likes the guy who forces his views on people uninvitedly. I don’t wanna be “that guy.”
So, I write it.
I give you, my loyally avid readers, the opportunity to choose whether or not to take in my opinion. And, again, if you’ve taken that opportunity, you mean the world to me.
You’ve given me the only true way I’ve ever had to express myself.
I only wish I’d realized this before my senior year of high school.
So, let’s look at high school. For me, it was neither a negative nor a positive experience. It was only that — an experience.
Though there are only a small handful of people at Blue Valley that I will truly miss, I love every one of you. I mean it.
You inadvertently and collectively shaped me into the person I am today. Thank you.
I entered high school as an awkward combination of a kid who was simultaneously desperate for popularity, while being inherently shy, all while reeling from the fresh divorce of my parents.
I leave it almost fully aware of my strengths and limitations, all while supporting a confidence and self assurance that uncouth freshman would be astonished at and proud of.
I leave it firm in my beliefs and with a smile on my face.
That transformation was because of you.
That transformation happened because of what happened day-in and day-out for four years.
It was not a sudden metamorphosis, but rather a slow and meticulous process that began and will end at a very specific time. I honestly don’t remember my first day of high school, but I sure hope I remember my last.
Though I don’t want this to sound too much like I’m accepting an Oscar, I do want to thank some people.
I’d like to thank my mom for giving me my moral compass and my dad for giving me my sense of humor and worldview.
I’d like to thank AVID teacher Diane O’Bryan for making me take newspaper. It was the greatest decision I never made, in so many ways.
But mostly, I’d like to thank you, the people who I interacted with at some point during these four years. It was you who molded me into who I am now.
And I honestly like who I am now. So thank you.
When I’m 60 years old, I’ll probably look at high school a lot differently than I do now. Right now, I look back and think “it was fine.”
Not amazing. Not horrendous.
It was fine.
When I’m 60 years old, I’m hoping that the rest of my life will dwarf these last four years in quality.
That’s not knocking my high school experience. I’m just hopeful for my future.
Especially when it comes to college. They say that college is the best time of your life.
I’m willing to believe them.