Many words can describe senior year — including ‘scary’

Senior year: Exciting, scary, overwhelming, unbelievable. There are so many words to describe this year. I knew I would be a senior someday, but I never thought that day would come so fast.

I remember walking through the doors of Westside on my first day as a freshman. I remember how many butterflies were doing cartwheels in my stomach, but how excited I was to step into the unknown. I remember how much noise there was. Students were screaming and hugging friends they hadn’t seen all summer, trying to figure out which locker was theirs, which books they needed — it was a lot to take in. I remember looking at the seniors in awe, dreaming of the day I would be in their shoes.

Next came sophomore year; the year where nothing really exciting happens. The homework isn’t too hard, prepping for the SAT hadn’t begun; for the most part sophomores are overlooked. Granted, I still had fun during that year. I was in student council, on the soccer team, and involved in the plays. But that year felt stagnant to me; it dragged on and on.

Finally, I got to junior year. The year where homework and studying never ceased to cram its way into all areas of my life. However, junior year has been my favorite year so far. Yes, I lived and breathed homework and yes, looking to the future of the SAT was daunting, but I was finally an upper classman. I finally felt like I belonged. I loved the people I was surrounded by, the teachers I had, and I loved being involved in the plays. I felt like I had grown out of some of the immaturity I had as a freshman and sophomore, and I was getting to know the person that God created me to be.

Throughout all of these years, I looked up to the seniors. They were the leaders of the school. All eyes were on them. Now it’s me that everybody is watching. The leadership and example role that senior year presents is huge. There are so many opportunities to influence and encourage the rest of the school. The way I act during this year is probably more important than the way I acted the rest of my high school days. Some days that seems like an awesome task. I open my eyes in the morning and jump out of bed excited about being alive and ready to be best friends with the first person I lay eyes on. Other days, my alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed and into the car thinking that if anyone says what a beautiful day it is today my fury will be unleashed.

One day I try to picture myself as a freshman in college ... it’s so close, but so far. Then the next day I can’t fathom leaving Westside or the comfort of home where my parents do my laundry and buy my gas. No matter which day it is, seniors have to keep in mind who’s watching us. Who our actions are influencing, even if we don’t know it. That’s a huge task, but it’s also a huge blessing. Seniors get to pour into the lives of those around us and as a result, learn about others. I get to know all kinds of unique, talented people who have something to add to the school and to society. Through that, I’m growing and becoming ready to step out into the world come June.

It’s a crazy year and obstacles will arise, but it’s one that I wouldn’t miss for anything.

Jayne Ruppert is a senior at Westside Christian High School and writes a monthly column for the Lake Oswego Review. To contact her, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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