By Sydnee Conroy
Twas’ the semester before graduation, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
The seniors were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of caps, gowns, and diplomas danced in their heads.
Yes… senioritis is here.
Classes ahead of us have talked about the struggle each year: the lack of motivation, the restlessness to graduate, and the anticipation to leave and start a new chapter in life. Now we finally understand. Somehow, over the course of the recent semester, completing assignments to the best of our ability stopped mattering. As long as we pass the course, right? All we can seem to think about is the warm weather summer will bring after graduating or about the cool new people we will meet next year at college. The last thing on our minds is that silly quiz we’ll be taking tomorrow. Therefore, it’s only normal to be joyous that the last semester of our K-12 education has arrived and that the light at the end of the tunnel has revealed itself…graduation.
Finally. Our big day. We’ve waited twelve years to walk across that stage, and it’s almost here. Graduation brings celebration, our first summer as “adults,” and of course… a new beginning. It’s all so exciting!
However, it can be easy to get so caught up in all that excitement that we forget to cherish some of our last moments as teenagers. This is something I had not considered until coming across an article by Audrey Taylor called, “Why You Should Value The Last Semester Of High School.” It occurred to me that I’ve been focusing on graduation so much that I’ve been wishing away all the time between now and then. Taylor opened my eyes to all the reasons we should love our current situation. I found the information very useful and since I’m sure I’m not the only senior who is counting down the days until I receive my diploma, I would like to share. So without further adieu, here it is:
Be nice to others and spend a lot of time with your friends. Martin Mueller, a Central alumnus, says he regrets “not spending enough time with the friends I don’t get to see at college.” After high school, we all begin following our own paths. Much too often, these paths never cross again. We need to realize that we may never see some of our classmates after graduation. We are all used to seeing each other every day, but soon it will only be during holidays and summer, at best. Why not make the most of the time we have right now?
Go out with a bang. Have a lot of fun and make a lot of memories. Make your last semester one for the books. Get dressed up and go to prom, try out for the team or for that production, stay out a little… or a lot later than you planned. Be spontaneous and do things that make you happy. You may look back and regret not trying new things or letting yourself be a teenager.
Enjoy that you’re not drowning in responsibilities right now. Ashley Solano, a recent Cobbler graduate, says, “College is very different. There is less sleep and less free time. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.” Before you know it, we’re all going to be living on our own, making decisions on our own, working jobs, and paying student loans. Mom and Dad won’t be around anymore to help, at least not the way they did in high school. I know it’ll be fun to be calling our own shots next year, but remember, we have the rest of our lives to be adults. Let’s enjoy our last semester and summer without having to worry about a million responsibilities.
Make sure you’re enjoying and appreciating the little things also; things such as home-cooked meals, free time, and the company of people who love and care about you. (Yes, even your annoying siblings.) Mueller says that the little things he misses are “the easier classes… as well as the high school sports.” Meanwhile Alaina Klapperich, also a graduated Cobbler, says she misses “having the same daily routines, the teachers and the relationships I had with them, and being able to recognize people wherever I went.” These are all things that you probably don’t think about much now but may miss when you’re off at college, trainings, and work.
So, seniors… as your last year of high school comes to an end, I encourage you to take into consideration all of these points. With our final hoorah only a mere five months away, it’s time for us all to slow down and smell the roses. Have an enjoyable last semester. Make it fun and be appreciative for everyone and everything. We only go to high school once (hopefully) and making all of our “lasts” memorable will be something we’ll be glad we did years from now. Everything will soon be different. Let’s not wish our time away. Time will willingly pass on its own.
Photo credit: Day 26: January 26, 2008- Distant Memories by ashley.adcox on Flickr