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Much Ado About Farewells

I took my habitual trips to 7/11 and Taco Bell for granted. High school goes by fast; don’t make the same mistakes as me.
Much+Ado+About+Farewells

It was a typical Thursday evening in my house. Winter break had just ended and my mom and I were headed to Jalapenos to celebrate the completion of my final college application. All was well until we turned off of Oak onto 63rd street. My beloved 7/11 was boarded up. Ever since my freshman year, I had gone into that 7/11 almost every morning before school. Those who know me know my caffeine habits well. A coffee or an energy drink is a must in my morning routine. Ted, the owner of that 7/11, slowly became my rock. His morning mantra of “Have a great day at school!” reverberated in my mind through even the toughest of days.
That two-minute pit-stop became essential to my morning routine. A routine is essential to my day-to-day functioning. This was harshly interrupted at the sight of the wooden panes covering the doors of 7/11. I scrolled through Next Door and my mother’s neighborhood Facebook group for answers. Ted had retired and sold his franchise. There was no notice as to when the store would reopen under new ownership. My world was shattered.
Shortly thereafter, I was taking one of my familiar after-work trips to Taco Bell. My order over the past year has been two Spicy Potato Soft Tacos and
a Fiesta Veggie Burrito. I never even had to tell my friends what I wanted; they knew. (There’s probably Fire Sauce in my veins at this point.) After a
frustratingly long night at the restaurant, I rolled down my window to pay. I was greeted by the cashier who notified me that in 10 days time, my beloved Fiesta Veggie Burrito would be removed from the menu. The look on my face spoke a million words as she gave me a sympathetic look. She gave a genuine apology as I held back tears. So much had been changing in my life. I had just finished college applications and the future seemed all-too present. Now, the two most reliable parts of my routines had been ripped away from me. Mourning 7/11 the Fiesta Veggie Burrito became emblematic of mourning my childhood. I watched four years worth of seniors posting about their lasts. Last Teresian, last fashion show, last day of classes; it all seemed so far away. I never savored these moments, blissfully ignorant of the value of every one of them. When I bit into my last Fiesta Veggie Burrito, something clicked. It all became real to me. The following months, I made sure to embrace every day at school, at work and with my friends. And now as I write my last Dart column, I look back to the firsts that brought me here. From my first 7/11 coffee stop, which led to years of caffeine reliance and late-night homework sessions, to the first time I talked to Liza in our freshman year third-period free and the first Intro  to Journalism class which would lead me to a life of journalism. These moments were fleeting, but they have made for a wonderful and memorable four years. This morning, I stopped at 7/11. The new owner has gotten me on their rewards program and the employees from Ted’s era have continued the tradition of wishing me a great day at school. Yesterday, I had Taco Bell for dinner and tried the new Grilled Cheese Burrito (it doesn’t compare to its predecessor). In three weeks, I’ll graduate STA with memories, friendships and a caffeine dependence that will last a lifetime. Change comes whether we know it or not, but everything works out the way it is supposed to.

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About the Contributor
Tierney Flavin
Tierney Flavin, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, dear Dart fans! I’m Tierney, one of your co-editors-in-chief (shoutout Mrs. Hirner on the compound modifier). This is my third and final year on The Dart and I can’t wait to pump out more news! If it were up to me, I would read The Dart 24/7, but I also love watching movies. My favorites are “Interstellar,” “American Pie” and “Love, Rosie.” I couldn’t live without my cat Beezus, burritos or energy drinks. You can follow my beverage review account @tierneyandvioletjudgebeverages for elite content… Anywho, here’s to the best year of Dart ever!!!! Happy reading! Love,  Tierney

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