The time it takes

Four minutes to drive to school without traffic; 12 minutes with traffic; 25 when snowing. Three minutes to reach the west mall from the back of the parking lot where I always end up. Four minutes, 35 seconds to walk from the orchestra room to the journalism room—the two places where I spent most of my time.

Ashley Lane

Four years of high school, 720 days, 17,280 hours, 1,036,800 seconds and everything has changed. Each second I was walking down the hall after sixth hour from Room 151 to 119, every walk out to my car during lunch, trying to make it home and back, every second mattered. At the time, all I wanted was to get through all of it. I was always just working and waiting for the weekends, waiting for summer, waiting for graduation, waiting for a change.

I try to live my life to the fullest and make every second count. Yeah, everyone says that. I’ve said it, meant it and not lived up to it. There is nothing wrong with spending an occasional minute waiting for a text or an hour on a Friday waiting for a phone call from a friend with plans. But there’s a point when you can’t wait any longer, when the past as you’ve known it comes to an end, and you know your world will be turned upside down in a few months.

It was April 12 that I reached that point. I realized I should no longer waste time waiting. Only four more weekends in high school, four of the 144 weekends in high school. Only 25 more days of school, 175 hours to see my friends, people I didn’t like and people I never knew. Only 10,500 minutes to do everything that I told myself I would do while in high school.
I decided to make every second of my last four weeks count, to finally take a chance and do things I had never done. The first weekend I spent in Chicago, with orchestra, and felt like an important part of an organization that I was never really involved in. The second weekend I went to prom with a date who I never imagined going with. The next weekend I placed third for academic photography at a KSPA state contest. My final weekend in high school was spent mostly finalizing the design and photos for this issue.

I don’t regret wasting time; it was all time well spent. I spent my time in the orchestra room, with friends, and most of it in the journalism room producing photos for the Lair and the Passage, designing the Passage and finally, as of today, writing. I wish I would’ve realized before the last minute that my time was limited.

You don’t realize how the years turn to days and the days turn to hours and all of a sudden you’re seconds away.
One day of high school left.