The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School



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The Next Chapter – OPINION

No one truly talks about what it means to leave.
Makayla Atkinson
The writer hugs her mother at a track meet, May 5, 2023. It was her mother’s birthday.

No one really talks about how it feels to leave for college and all the hard goodbyes you have to make. All through high school, they prepare you for your future, push you to be involved, be a leader, have good grades, and test you for what’s to come. You become comfortable being around the people you’ve been with since elementary school – seeing the same teachers, coaches, and classmates every day. What they don’t prepare you for is leaving all of that behind, leaving your friends and family and the special bond you have with your teachers and coaches.

My mom is my best friend

When it comes to close family, leaving is 10 times harder. My mom is my best friend and the thought of having to leave her in a few months brings tears to my eyes. There’s a sense of guilt that comes with being the youngest and abandoning your parents. I have been with them for 18 years and suddenly I have to move out to be an “adult” on my own.

My mom and I have a bond that is so close people tell me all the time they wish they had a bond like ours, one that builds over time and not in just a day. Yes, we may argue, but by the end of that argument, we are hugging. I will miss that bond in college because I don’t know if it will get stronger with distance or weaken over time.

Leaving my hometown will be another of the hardest goodbyes. When I move, I will no longer have the streets memorized, know the best place to get ice cream or have a high school parking lot to hang out with everyone on weekends.

When you think of the college experience most people don’t look into the small things. You usually just hear about all the fun people are going to have and how they will be free and on their own. However, when I consider the small things, everything starts adding up. I will be completely on my own in college. I’m going to have to do laundry, make food, clean my apartment or dorm, vacuum, and do all the things I take for granted when still living at home.

I am going to get the “college experience” the moment my parents leave and I have to walk back to my room all alone. No one is going to hold my hand and guide me through life anymore. It’s all on me, and for most people, that is terrifying. Instead of walking out of the room to go ask parents for help, questions, or simply a conversation, we will now have to call them. We won’t see them every day anymore.  We will have to visit them when we want to spend time with them. We will have lives without them, and sometimes that’s okay. But it also brings up a whole range of emotions.

Your life is like a storybook

Your life is like a storybook, you all have chapters in it with multiple characters and different stages of life. Well, high school is one of those chapters. When you get to the end of the chapter, it starts to get sad because you don’t know the next stage and what it may bring. But it is worth flipping to the next page and finding out what’s to come with this new adventure. 

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About the Contributor
Makayla Atkinson, YearBook
Makayla Atkinson is a senior and a part of the yearbook team in AHS journalism at Atlantic High School. This is currently Atkinson’s second year of journalism. Atkinson’s favorite parts of journalism are taking the pictures for the yearbook and the “creativity” she gets to use within it. She is looking forward to how this year's yearbook will turn out because of the ideas they have for it. She is most proud of the pictures she has taken while in journalism. Atkinson encourages others to join journalism. Atkinson said, “ If you're just thinking about it as something to do, just do it because of the opportunities you will learn about.” Atkinson is also involved in softball, volleyball, track, FFA, 4H, and AHS Fuel. Atkinson is looking forward to all senior things such as “senior nights and sports banner poster,” she said. Her future plans are undecided but she is hoping to go into real estate or photography. Story by Zoey Kirchoff  

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    BonnieFeb 9, 2024 at 1:42 pm

    So proud to call you my granddaughter. Love ❤️