graduation


love is a word that i don't use very often. i think it's a word that carries a lot of emotion, and i'm scared that it will lose it's meaning if i use it too much. but the last few days love is a word that i have been using a lot.

for some girls, the hsc will be the last time that i ever see them. for others, i hope to see very often even after high school. but my time in high school has been a blessing and a whirlwind experience because of the 171 sisters i have had alongside me on this journey.

to the class of 2016, i love you. i am proud of what we have achieved, and no doubt what we will achieve in the future. i am confident that every single one of you will go on to beautiful and great things, because you are all so hard-working, so diligent, so kind and so smart.

to the girls in the prefect body, i love you. thank you for an amazing year, not only in leadership but in true sisterhood. working alongside you has been a huge privilege to say the least, and i have grown so much because of all of you.

to all of my friends, i love you. high school would not have been as fun without you all!! and no doubt i wouldn't be as strong as i am today without your unending support. many of you i don't talk to on a regular basis but the memories that we have i still hold close to my heart, and you are a group of beautiful girls that i am so lucky to know. thank you.

to my girls in nt, i love you. although there have been quite a few downs this year, they would not have been as worth it if you guys were not there with me during the ups. even though i have a varying relationship with all of you - some of you i am close to, and some of you i barely talk to - you are a wonderful bunch of girls that never fail to make me smile. i will miss seeing you all five days a week, and the warmth and comfort that you give me, but i know you will all be there for me when i need it. and you know that i will be there for you too.

to ms bavell, i love you. thank you for your time and dedication to all of your students. your passion for history is something that i look up to. i have learnt so much from you and i am forever grateful for all of the guidance and support you have given me. thank you for always being there when i was a teary mess, and thank you for being a friend - i will miss our chats together. thank you for always showering me with gifts, and i love you for everything that you are!

and to nina, my bestest friend in the whole wide world, i love you. i love you more than i can express in words, and i am so so proud of you. i am so glad that i met you, and that our friendship progressed from that awkward day out at the beach in year 9!! i can't thank you enough for always being there for me, and listening to everything that i have to say. thank you for being the pocket rocket that you are, you have opened up my world to new experiences and perspectives. thank you for always hanging out with me - the good times that we've had i will never forget. thank you, thank you, thank you, i hope you know how much you mean to me.

these messages are so insufficient, but i hope they relay at least a little bit of how i am feeling right now. congratulations to the class of 2016, we made it!! and i am confident that we will all smash our externals!! excited for what the future holds...

Karen  

comfort

elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren
elashock, karen okuda, film, 35mm, 35mm film, photography, analogue photography, graduation, high school, thoughts, friends, school, konichiwakaren

with only 9 days of school left, i've really been reflecting on my time in high school. and i think a lot of people have as well. "how are u feeling about grad?" seems to be a popular conversation starter these days hahah

maybe because i'm quite the optimistic and sentimental type, but looking back i've loved my time in high school. of course, i'm feeling more than ready to graduate and move on to bigger and better things, but letting go of high school (and being a teenager) is a little sad for me. everyone says this, but it's because it's true: you remember the good times, with the good people you've met and connected with, doing things that made you feel good. you don't remember the workload or the number of practice essays you wrote, you remember those times in class when your teacher goes off on a tangent that balloons into a whole class bitch sesh. you remember the times you walk into the common room to be greeted with warm smiles and hellos. you remember the warm fuzzy feelings of running around the school with your friends. i remember the innocent laughter of my friends as we mucked around doing nothing because it was year 7 and we could. i remember panicking because we got caught changing in the hallways and not in the change rooms. i remember having fun performing with my dance group, even though the choreography was shit. spending hours on notes, practice papers, essays and questions isn't something i'll miss because it's not what defined my time in high school. i'm going to miss coming to school to a group of intelligent, funny, caring girls that made me feel safe and inspired and empowered (to say the least) - even if we wouldn't technically call each other 'friends'. i'm not going to miss the controlling executive of the school, but i'll miss the girls who stood up to them.

the high school environment that i was lucky enough to be immersed in taught me, as a young woman, to be strong, to be proud, to be caring, to be fun, to work hard... going into year 7 as a small, shy girl, these past six years have helped me break out of my comfort zone and become a young woman who has strong opinions (even though i'm still bad at voicing them), who is confident but who is also still learning and growing. my high school experience has helped me come to terms with the fact that 'perfect' doesn't exist, and that life is diverse and beautiful. high school has also taught me that friends are precious. and not just Friends but also friends and pals and acquaintances and people you know. the reason that i've grown so much is because of the girls around me. because they are so smart and because they are a wonderful support network. i love friends.

i am 18 now and ready to go out into the 'real world'. i am proud of myself!!! and i am proud of all the girls in the class of 2016!!!

Karen  

posier

elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen
elashock, karen okuda, konichiwakaren, film, film photography, photography, analogue photography, 35mm film, melbourne, sydney, australia, nina nguyen

i've been meaning to write a little something about graduation (only three weeks to go!!), it's been in my drafts for a while now, but i think i will check back again later for that. in the meantime, here are some photos from melbourne i took in july + some photos of me by nina - all on film :-)

photos of me by nina, photos of melbourne by me

Karen