It hit me the other day.
I was walking through the cafeteria with some friends and was confronted with a striking realization. As I scanned the faces around me I was astounded by the innocence emanating from the young freshmen faces. The thought of them having seven more semesters to walk through these familiar hallways seems incomprehensible, but what is even more surreal is that we seniors only have one.
The time span of four years sounds as if a good chunk of your adolescence has been consumed. However, I look back on my first day at LFHS and remember it as if it were yesterday.
I remember distinctly wearing my backpack too high (typical freshman) as I constantly avoided the senior hallway. I remember first seeing the snack shop and being completely amazed by the notion of being able to purchase chips or candy from the shelf at any time of the day. And lastly, I remember feeling devoured by the infinite hallways, intimidating upperclassmen, and, of course, the dismaying awareness that I only had four years to transition into a young adult before it was my time to finally tackle the next chapter of my life.
What I didn’t know as a 14 year old first entering the commons doors was that that all of those football games, countless hours of homework, school dances, and lazy weekends spent alongside your best friends would soar by, and by the time you finally had the chance to blink, you would wind up right here.
I guess I had more goals that I wanted to fulfill by the time I was a senior. I certainly wanted to do something meaningful with my time, like getting more involved with my community opposed to reclining and watching Netflix with most of my spare minutes. I wanted to be bold enough to pursue my passions and join clubs, despite whether my core group of friends participated in them or not. Overall, I just wanted to look back on my high school years and feel I did everything I imagined I would accomplish when I would envision what my life would look like in high school when I was a young girl.
Well, here it is. We have no more moments to blink. Seniors, we are months away from the day that we’ll finally shut the doors on our youth and unlock the ones that lead to what we have been secretly dreading, “the real world.”
They say a mid-life crisis is when one falls into a place where they suddenly don’t know what they want or what they are supposed to do. This is usually sparked by the sudden acknowledgment of a significant amount of time that has passed. Of course, the term “mid-life crisis” usually indicates the struggles of someone in their late 40’s or 50’s coming to grips with the ideology that this is what the rest of their life will look like. Be that as it may, seniors in high school are feeling very similar at this very moment in our own lives.
We, too, have hit a crossroads. We are about to embark on this new journey, but first we must enter the uncharted waters. Up to this very moment, we have had a set path. However, now is one of the first times in our life where we have more questions than answers. We don’t know how the next four years will unfold. All we know is that our best friends won’t be a mile away when we have juicy gossip that must be told in person. Our parents won’t be a door away when we have one of our run-of-the-mill teenage meltdowns to come and offer their “words of wisdom” that we most likely won’t even listen to because we think they don’t understand. And finally, whenever we are out somewhere and having one of those feelings when we just want to go home, we won’t be able to return to our comforting beds bound by the four walls of the one place we know we can always go to to hide out from the vast world around us.
A constant habit of mine has always been anticipating the future. Typically, I find myself longing for more excitement whenever I feel stuck in the same old routine. Now, it is almost as if I hit a fast forward button and the only thing I want to do is hit rewind–or at the very least–pause. I used to walk through the commons with the mindset that it would never be my time to sit among those high top tables. Now as I sit there and glimpse at the underclassmen passing through, I am astounded that it it has been almost four years since it was me walking past with my friends, foreshadowing the days that we would be the “big, bad seniors.”
When second semester hit, that was when the end of high school finally became real to me. Now, sadly every moment is regarded as one of the “lasts” as we near the final pages of our high school chapters. The last pep rally, the last Turnabout, the last basketball game, the last everything. Whether you received that letter admitting you to the school of your dreams, are still waiting to hear back, or have other plans, I have no doubt that every senior was hit at some point with same realization as I have just outlined. Nevertheless, the only thing we can do–the only thing that is in our hands–is the ability to accept that we are ready to enter the next phases of our lives. And just because we can’t see what’s on the other side of the road doesn’t mean what lies there is any less worthwhile.