It’s easy to tell the end of the school year is near. Every senior you pass in the hallway possesses an indescribable excitement. Countdowns to graduation appear on whiteboards across the school.
One of the biggest turning points in our lives fast approaches, and many are ready to embrace it with open arms. However, hidden beneath all this excitement are undercurrents of sadness.
Bethlehem is a small school, and we have built a close-knit community. Soon, the time will come to part ways and leaving this security might prove a little difficult.
These past four years have molded us into the people we are today. We’ve grown and matured in ways that would make any parent or teacher proud. None of this would have been possible without Bethlehem, our so-called “guiding star.”
An education at Bethlehem reaches beyond the required curriculum. The most important lesson I have learned these past few years has been the value of service.
From the very beginning, we’ve been encouraged to help those in need, whether that be within our own school (by giving one another a shoulder to lean on in times of need) or in the community (by volunteering at our local food pantry or helping to put on a Kid’s Day for the local children).
We are taught to put someone else’s needs above our own and, in doing so, we learn to appreciate the relationships we have and the gifts we’ve been given. Serving others is an ingrained element of many of the classes and clubs available to the student body. No one leaves Bethlehem without experiencing some form of self-giving. I think it’s made all of us more caring, open-minded people.
An unexpected, but definitely invaluable, trait that Bethlehem has instilled in me and many others is the love of learning.
School, and learning in general, is often seen in a negative context. Mindless memorization, grueling papers, and long hours are the usual associations, but Bethlehem rejects these cliches.
We are taught in new, interesting ways that bring joy back to the act of gaining knowledge. We are rewarded for our curiosity and encouraged to think outside the box. We aren’t just given the knowledge needed to pass a few tests and graduate. We are taught the skills that will help us succeed in all stages of life.
An education goes beyond the classroom. Sure, it’s math and science but it’s also responsibility and leadership. Bethlehem teaches us both sides of the coin. We are immersed in knowledge while at the same time pushed to achieve great things outside the classroom.
So yes, looking forward, I am sad to leave this wonderful place behind, but I know with an unwavering certainty that I have been prepared to take on whatever the world throws at me.