High school…I never forget you.

We had our ups and downs.

I was anxious, depressed and miserable,

yet you gave me joy and happiness – good memories.

What I want to say:

“High school, I’ll miss you but I never want to see you again!”

I wouldn’t say my years in high school were terrible. I met good friends and made some fun memories. Still, I wouldn’t go through it again. When I had my graduation cap on my head, I felt this overwhelming joy screaming inside me. I felt freedom because I knew I would never have to be another year…in high school.

I had pretty interesting high school: Vaskivuoren lukio (lukio means high school), because there is three special education lines: dancing, music and media. What I mean, for example, if you had been able to get in for music line you would have been part of all kinds music courses in the school in addition to basic studies in high school. Of course, others as well can take music courses (if you know how to play), but for these musicians it’s compulsory. I wasn’t in for any of those lines, I just went to study in the high school. I kind of chose this school because of what it had to offer: different kind of courses of art (which you don’t usually see in a high school that isn’t an art school), and languages. Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian…I chose to study Spanish – I even chose it for my matriculation exam (ylioppilastutkinto) – and I took couple of courses to study Chinese. I remember some numbers, and I can say that my name is Sari and that I’m Finnish (我是芬兰人), nothing else I can really remember…

My high school had a lots of events going on throughout the years. Sometimes in the mornings there were dance shows, musical performances like the men choir entertaining us, and thanks to the media students there were always great special effects when needed.

Why am I telling you about my high school? Well, today was again the time of the year when senior students (abit) of high schools are kicked out from school. Penkkarit! The actual name is penkinpainajaiset which means the nightmare of the bench. Don’t ask me where exactly this name came up, but what seniors do is that every year on Thursday they get in to trucks and start to throw candies (the candies are wrapped, of course) for children to pick them whilst the trucks are driving around the city. I never forget that feeling when I was in the truck. Everyone just yelled all the time, and why not, after all high school was over (though we still had to pass our matriculation exam…).

Candy!

Sweet candy!

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We actually had difficulties to get trucks since the first truck company retracted in a short notice so we were in hurry to find a company to give us trucks for penkkarit.

Before that usually seniors have a show for other students: Abishow. We have a theme for the show and we dress for costumes – we had Disney in my time.

Sorry my foreign friends this is in Finnish, but you can see what kind of our show was in 2014.

Abi on jumala!”

Tomorrow is the prom (vanhojen tanssit). The second year students celebrate of being the oldest ones in the school, after seniors are gone, by having a prom. It’s not exactly like in the America. Girls do wear beautiful dresses and guys have suits (these days – when our parents were in high school they wore their parent’s/grandparent’s old clothes to actually look old, which is why it’s called vanhojen tanssit = the dance of the old ones), but we actually practice old ball room dances (e.g. waltz) to perform them to others to see. Also, we make our own choreography mixed with different kinds of music. Think about the year 2013, what song was very popular? …yes…gangnam style! Of course we had to use that dance in our prom…

Usually the prom has been in the evening after penkkarit, which would be tonight. We dance for our families and relatives to see it, and then next day other schools near can see our dancing. We did it differently: we had both performances on the same day, Friday. It was actually better that way because it’s hard to keep your beautifully made hair as good for the next day. First, students from other schools came to see our dance. In the evening our families and relatives, even some of our friends, came to see the dance.

I can’t remember much from that day, I had been really sick for whole week (I said that I even if I had my leg broken I would go no matter what…that prom dress wasn’t cheap!). I couldn’t speak almost at all, and I think I had still a little fewer that day, but I just took lots of medicine. Yet, I can remember how nervous I was whole day, especially when we were going to perform to our families, and it didn’t make it any easier when your mum is going to make a video of you dancing.

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I don’t regret I went to the prom. It was one of those high school moments that you’ll never forget. Would I do it again? NO! One time is enough, I couldn’t bare anymore to be that nervous…

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The guys had to lift us, girls, up…this was the most terrifying moment

I know this was a long post and thank you for those who were able to read this far. Hopefully some of you enjoyed learning a bit of what it’s like be in a Finnish high school.

One last time, goodbye high school!

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