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A senior in limbo

Pacer Notes

WILLIAMSBeing a senior in high school is weird.

Many parts of my life are ironically juxtaposed. For example, I was born Nov. 9, so I celebrated my 18th birthday one day after the election. That meant I was just barely too young to vote for the next U.S. president in the election, and yet I am expected to make responsible, adult decisions, like where to pursue my education and what I want to major in.

Some of my friends have beards, and some look like middle schoolers. I could get married, enlist in the army, drive and buy cigarettes, and yet I am in the same school environment I was in when I had braces. I am told to follow my passions and that I can be whatever I want when I grow up, and yet my future is defined by numbers: my SAT score, my GPA, the hours I spend doing extracurriculars per week and the amount of money I can afford to put into college.

I am working hard for teachers I may never see again; volunteering for a community I’m planning to leave; and spending time with friends who will scatter to the four corners of the Earth come July.

At no other time in our lives are we expected to be so mature while being treated like we are children — and I’m not complaining! It’s nice to be fed and housed by someone else; to be guided and nudged in the right direction by counselors and teachers; and to get to be a kid for a little while longer.

But it is a strange feeling knowing that everything I am doing right now has an expiration date. By this time next year, I’ll be in a different city with a new group of friends and a life I have no way to foresee right now. All of my current classes, friendships, clubs, tests, inside jokes, teachers, stress, joy and routines will be memories that I will fondly recall when I scroll past an old friend’s photo on social media or see someone on the street who looks exactly like my high school history teacher.

In past years, there was the promise of another year to come after the summer; when apologies could be made; relationships could be rekindled; GPAs could be improved and the familiar gray halls of Lakeridge would welcome us back into the daily rhythm. Without that security lulling us into monotony, senior year is exciting. There’s a collective drive to make the most out of our numbered days, because for the majority of our lives, we are not seniors in high school.

Chances are that if you’re reading this, your time in high school is a thing of the recent or distant past. You have settled into a different routine that has little to do with the things that mattered to you when you were 17 or 18. So among those of us who are seniors right now, many see it as their last chance to reap the benefits of high school

and try something new. I know many people who tried out for the musical, joined the swim team or signed up for Model United Nations for the first time as seniors.

When I was a freshman, I thought that the seniors were so grown-up, with their driver’s licenses and prom dates and college admittance letters. Looking back, I realize that the only important difference is the realization that our days in school are numbered, and subsequently that we should be seizing the opportunity to figure our lives out.

No matter where I end up at this time in 2017, I am thankful for

this strange, wonderful year of my life.

Lakeridge High School senior Claire Williams is one of two Pacer Notes columnists for The Review. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..