To underclassmen: what senior year feels like

This story has been republished. Original publishing date: August 9, 2017

Abby Scarce, Features Editor

Right now, high school seems like a never ending cycle of dealing with the same people, classes, and homework every single day. You feel like you’re never going to get out.

You can’t wait to be a senior. You can’t wait for senior prom and the parties and sending in your college applications and having senior lunch.

The truth is, senior year is amazing and everything it is hyped up to be. When you do decide to come to school, you show up in sweat pants because, honestly, senioritis has hit you in full effect and you’ve stopped caring about anything and everything.

Senior year is exciting and freeing. You’ll have more privileges than anyone else at school. You’ll finally be the “big kid” on campus and you’ll feel as if none of the underclassmen are even worthy of walking beside you in the hallways. You’ll feel as if you’re on top of the world.

Your mother will take pictures of you leaving for school on your “last first day” and you’ll begin a countdown until graduation on your phone. You’ll go to school and see your friends and you’ll all act like finding a seat at lunch doesn’t still scare of you, even though it totally does.

You’ll waste all your money at Hobby Lobby and Walmart the weekend before spirit week because you’re determined to go all out for senior year. You’ll scream “THS, I love it” at the top of your lungs at pep rally and you won’t stop screaming even after Mrs. Williams begs you to over the microphone. You’ll paint your face one last time for the homecoming game and you’ll sit on the front row of the bleachers with all of your friends, classmates, and the many horns they’re bound to bring.

Before you know it, it’s over. You’ll never have a high school spirit week, pep rally, or homecoming football game again.

You and your friends will go to all the local haunted houses during October and you’ll coordinate your Halloween costumes. You’ll buy your friends small presents and go to see the Christmas lights together on Christmas break. You’ll spend the first half of your spring semester planning your Spring Break and the second half of the semester planning your summer.

But, then you can’t help but to think about all the places your friends will be by that time next year. You wonder if you’re ever going to be as close to them as you are right now or if you’ll even see each other after high school is over.

You’ll finally have your Senior Night and play the sport you love, for the school you love one last time. It’s your last time putting on your home jersey, your last time going to Mill’s Grocery to get the same snacks you’ve gotten before each game since Junior Varsity, and your last time listening to the bleacher creatures cheer you on. Never again will you walk off Tunstall’s court or field, after a win, as a student athlete.

And after waiting for what seems like forever, you’ll finally get your cap and gown. When you put it on graduating all of a sudden becomes real to you.

As the gym is flooding with corny music that’s all about growing up, you’ll have your last awards ceremony. When you’re walking up the aisle and the music grows louder, it seems as if the only purpose of this music is to make you sad. It succeeds.

You’ll realize that the people surrounding you, you might never see again. Soon enough, you will all be going separate ways on new adventures. You feel excited and scared and happy and sad, all at once.

Then, finally the time comes that you’ve been waiting for since High School Musical 3 hit theaters: senior prom. Everything is just how you imagined it would be as you walk through the dance floor during senior walk. You dance and take pictures with all your friends and when it’s all over, you get the bittersweet feeling of knowing that you’ll never attend another Tunstall prom.

You’ve driven the same roads each day and eaten the same snack after school. You’ve been with the same classmates since kindergarten. You remember what that boy looked like before puberty and what she looks like with no makeup on. You know who’s dating who and which couple just broke up at that party last weekend, but you also know they’ve been on and off since middle school and this is just another phase. You’ve grown up with these people and your parents grew up with their parents and you know everything about everyone around you. But never again.

When graduation day comes, you’ll line up two by two with your classmates. You’ll cross the stage, praying you won’t fall, and listen to your family scream at the top of their lungs for their “baby” (even after you told them not to). You’ll finally receive the diploma that took you 13 years to earn. Soon enough, you realize that while you’re receiving this diploma, you’re also losing your childhood.

Suddenly, you’re an adult and you have this big, wide world ahead of you. You realize you can be whatever you want and do whatever you want in this world.

No more tardies or dress codes or raising your hand to use the bathroom. Your future is now in your own hands. And as thrilling as that is, it’s also terrifying.

So before you rush through high school, remember: this is what being a senior feels like.

It’s full of “going all outs.”

It’s full of lifelong memories.

And it’s full of “never agains.”

Love,

A College Freshman