Cue the acoustic guitar melodies, “So it begins,”. It was like nothing I could have imagined, stepping into a whole new world, as a freshman I had no idea of how it all worked, being at the bottom of the food chain. Cue the detuned overdriven guitars, “Our eyes torn open, free from the thorns of doubt, free from our selfish confine.” When I came to bolles I thought I would be seeing a diverse group of people who care about one another, trying to reach a common goal of seeking knowledge. “Our, blood, restless, ceaseless, with open arms we stand before the dawn.” Little did I know about the pompous world that I was about to be engulfed in, a world I was not too keen on. It all started out with football, a sport that never seemed to end, with long practices making sure that I did not have a life. I was too busy trying not to be killed by the team’s top senior linebacker who had about a solid foot and a hundred pounds on me. Cue the heavier and faster harmonized guitars going in double time, “The sun seems to have been rising, ever since I can recall, leaving a sense of permanence to this lying world.” The endless summer days, the nonstop fall nights, and the everlasting bruises and facemask marks were all that mattered to me, not my job or school so much, my survival took priority. “Your words, not worth the air. Your life, not worth its weight in flesh.” As a freshman on the football team I was a human dummy bag, there only to be hit by the starters on varsity, who were ready to play in college. No one cared about how the freshman felt, it got better as they improved in skill, but as for me it only got worse. “To hope for something more, to dream of substance. “ By the end of sophomore year, I was finished with football, so sick and tired of it, yet my parents pushed me to carry on with it. I fought them the whole way, as they tried to convince me that I it will get better and that it will look good on my college resume. “Like a million before us waiting to die, like a billion before us waiting to die.” In November of my sophomore year I decided enough was enough. I put my father’s .357 Desert Eagle to my temples and fought with myself, asking why I should live. “Masochistic, to think this would be remembered. Sadistic, perpetuation of stagnation. “At this time I was most self destructive and turning all of my pain inward upon myself. I just wanted it to end, searching for any way out of this hell that prided itself on almost eighty years of tradition. “There is nothing as empty as waiting to die. We spend our lives wasting as time eats us alive.” There were only two things in life that had been keeping me going until this moment, my devout Catholicism and playing guitar in a metal band. Youth group was my life and my parents couldn’t keep me from shredding up and down the fret board when I wasn’t on the field. When I started to look at metal bands and decipher their music I found that I could relate with them, feeling that the world was worthless. “The sun seems to have been falling ever since I can recall the only sense of permanence in this dying world.” My days of football and bolles were finally coming to an end. Things were only getting better when sophomore year ended and junior year came. I was only at bolles to put my time in, not trying to achieve academic success like all the other students here. “Sit back and watch as time eats us alive.” I was wasting my time just playing guitar as my sense of religion was fading; I felt that God could not save me. But I was getting better and better at my craft, my niche, playing hardcore brutal heavy metal that made my next door neighbor, a Baptist priest, move away. It had been a year since my attempt at suicide and it was the perfect night in San Marco. There were many girls and one other band at the gazebo on the center of the plaza playing their acoustic guitars covering Taylor Swift songs. My band specifically went on last so other people could play if they had a noise complaint. That was the first time that I had a chance to shine and express how I felt, all the anger built up inside. Everything about that night showed the aggressiveness I was searching for, an asymmetrical flying v with razor sharp edges, looks that could literally kill, going through gobs of distortion through speakers that were known for the best of metal tones. “Everyone who knew me, destined to die. The mark I left upon this world will wash away.” This line is dedicated to all the people that I have been close to that have passed away in my high school years. Allison Haramis, she got me through all of middle school, one of my only true friends who really cared for me. Mr Hillenbrand was possibly one of the most entertaining to and influential people I have ever met, and I know the whole school, especially the English department, is still mourning over our great loss. My grandfather passed as well, a man of very few words who meant the world to me and passed away after facing many diseases and prevailing through them all. Who knew that the one thing we thought would pass would take him away from us. This made me find my true friends at bolles who could help me through these rough times. Without them I would not have been able to find the strength to help carry my grandfather’s coffin. Slow the tempo down and calm the guitars, “In time, and so it ends. In time, we all find an end.” Second semester came and I finally knew where I was going in life. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as I came closer and closer to leaving the institution that I hated and despised so much. I know that I won’t miss much when I leave but all the trials and tribulations it has made me a better person, learning from all the others how not to act. Now I will be saving on gas since I won’t have to drive from Ft. Caroline to San Jose every day. Cue the guitar solo layering over the song with arpeggios and tapping, “With broken arms and hollow eyes, await our return to oblivion.” Now as much as ever, I am ready to leave. I am ready to experience a truly diverse culture and hopefully travel the world. “Embrace our last empty horizon.” I’m tired. I really am. I’m sick of all this and nothing will stop me from leaving. I’m completely over this experience and ready to move on.