by Hailey Reilly
Everyone has their own ideas about senior year. Some think it’ll be a breeze, some dread having to think about choosing a college and some just want to skip everything and jump right to graduation. There’s no denying that senior year comes with heavy expectations: prom, senioritis, assassin, Senior Project, senioritis, Decision Day and did I say senioritis? But what people don’t expect and what surprised me most, was the weird emotional limbo that comes with being a senior.
I find myself stuck in this state of nostalgic foot-tapping: I want graduation to hurry up and get here, but at the same time I want senior year to slow down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to leave high school behind and go to college, but the idea of everything changing and everyone leaving after 12 years of being together is a little overwhelming.
Seeing the people you used to play with on the playground, your old teammate from an in-town sports team, or the friends you carpooled with to Y dances now choosing a college and a major is insane. I knew these people when they played with Barbies and color-coordinated their braces with mine, and now they’re going off to school across the country? What?
To me, one of the best aspects of senior year is the huge support everyone in the grade has for each other. When someone posts their decision in the Facebook senior college group, their post is immediately flooded with likes and congratulations. When someone wears a shirt or hat with their college on it, friends, teachers and even classmates they aren’t close with are excited for them. You feel a sense of pride for everyone in the grade when they decide what they’re doing after high school (even if the decision isn’t to attend college) because, both individually and as a class, you’ve been through it all.
To the rising Senior Class and those below them, my only advice is to relax. Chill. Breathe. High school shouldn’t be a marathon where you spend the whole four years racing to get to the finish line. And it definitely shouldn’t be four years of worrying about college. I promise there are things that matter more than how many AP classes you take and what your SAT scores are. Allow yourself time to grow, time to explore, time to learn. Don’t suffer through high school just to get to the next step; enjoy everything (well—maybe don’t enjoy Calculus).
So, Class of 2016, we killed it. We’ve survived the cicada apocalypse, PARCC testing, the Great Phone Purge of 2016 and the JRP together. We’re all going in a hundred different directions to new things, whether it’s in college, on the job, gap years or studying abroad. We’re off to great places to do great things, and even though everything is changing and we’re all leaving, I’m pretty damn excited to see where we go.