We’re Up, Class of 2019


Katie Pierce

When I write emails to people I don’t know, sometimes to set up gigs for my band, or sometimes to ask a question about a program or how to sign up for something, I introduce myself with a generic form.

Dear ____,

My name is Katie Pierce and I’m a _____ at Lake Forest High School.

Never has it fazed me before to write freshman, sophomore, or even junior in that space. But senior? There’s something that I can’t fathom.

Senior year is the subject of movies and the plotline in books. It is a year of lasts, and it is preparation for a life of firsts. You technically explore more during that one year than you will ever again in your life. After all, choosing a college is like choosing a path in the game of LIFE; there will be rewards and challenges, and there’s way of knowing how much of each you’re bound to get.

Senior year has always seemed to me to be something that only other people achieved, and something I never would actually reach. It’s similar to how famous musicians and athletes always say that they only ever saw other people playing the instrument or the sport, and then somehow they are up there on the stage or the field doing just that. It’s a feeling that is surreal and subtle.

So what do I expect as a senior? I don’t really know what to expect. It is not going to be glorious. It is not going to be easy. It is not going to be a constant party.

It is, however, going to be fun. It will be hard. It will be rewarding. It will be something that I can’t describe right at this moment, because I can’t predict the future.

Just because I can’t predict the future does not mean that I can’t hope. I hope that during my senior year I can be kinder than I’ve ever been. I hope that I can teach someone something. I hope I can inspire someone. I hope to help someone. I hope to learn something new.

Senior year itself should be a celebration of education. It is the culmination of twelve years of growth, trials, tribulations, lessons, and mistakes. I learned how to write my name. I learned how to read a book. I learned how to play instruments. I learned how to solve for x. I learned how to speak a language. I learned how to swim. I learned how to analyze a text. I learned how to speak in front of people. I learned to drive a car.

When I was a freshman, my last writing piece of the year focused on the action of saying thank you to people that matter. If nothing else, I want to give as many thank yous as I can during my senior year to the people that deserve them. This means friends. This means teachers. This means mentors. Most of all, this means family.

So going into a big year like senior year, I want to take the time to enjoy every second that life has to give. I will savor this summer, along with every single school day of the year. And it is too easy to forget that this is just the beginning of my life, just a snapshot of the years to come.

And despite everything, Class of 2019, we still have work to do, dances to attend, games to cheer at, and performances to give. We have the responsibility to try and be the people we’ve looked up to all of this time. We may not think so, but we’re ready to step up to the challenge. But is the new year ready for us?

Let’s find out, shall we?