For some people, change isn’t easy. It is something that doesn’t resonate well with them. Maybe it makes them a little anxious. Perhaps they know the outcome could be phenomenal, but they’re terrified to step out of their comfort zone and welcome such differences with open arms. Maybe change doesn’t bother them, though. It could thrill them, spinning their lives around in the best way possible. It could be viewed as an adventure or an opportunity, a way to branch out and become someone new.
As summer creeps to an end, most teenagers dread the change mid-August welcomes: the beginning of school. Waking up early and having to learn about things they swear they’ll never use again are disappointing aspects of the transition from summer break to school. This year for me, though, August brought along one of the greatest (but scariest) changes I’d ever face: senior year.
When I was an underclassman, I envied the seniors and their front-lot parking spots and their hour-long lunch privileges. I ached to be able to dominate the student section at football games. I wanted to be able to participate in Homecoming and Senior Night and Senior Week. I wanted to live in the excitement of saying that I made it to my final year of high school. I was (and still am) absolutely ecstatic about each element of senior year that is to come.
I was ready to be a senior for a number of reasons. I wasn’t so eager because I was ready to leave Lugoff-Elgin High School; I was eager to be a senior because senior year was a time for me to be the best I could be. It was a time to make life-altering decisions; it was a time to decide where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life, but also a time to go to every football game, hang out with friends, and make the best of every single moment. It was going to be a year of changes not only for me, but for all of my peers.
After officially becoming a senior, I think the scariest thing I’ve had to come to terms with is the fact that I will never be in a building with all of these people again. The people I’ve grown up with, the people I used to share my goldfish with in 3rd Grade and play tag with at recess could potentially go to college in New York or California. While I may decide to study in Charleston, my best friend could decide to study in Mississippi. My lab partner from freshman year could skip college and travel the world. We could be on opposite ends of the earth studying and exploring the most abstract things known to mankind, and that leaves a bittersweet feeling in my heart. It’s terrifying knowing that we’ll all have to say goodbye.
Although there are a few things about senior year that hurt, the good outweighs the bad. Every morning I pull into parking spot number 38 as opposed to number 347 my sophomore year and number 999 my junior year, and it feels great. I’m a member of the paint crew, which is a group of people responsible for coming up with the themes of the football games and keeping the student section cheerful and animated. Covered in glitter and paint from head to toe, my friends and I attend every football game to cheer on our Demons. The lunch privileges are incredible; getting to leave and having an hour to eat rather than 25 or 30 minutes makes my days much better. I can spend time with friends or finish some extra homework, or even take a little nap.
And it’s in these moments, the scary and exhilarating, when I realize senior year for what it truly is: a transition from my childhood into adulthood. A path from who I am now to who I’m going to be. It’s a year filled with wonder and uncertainty, a year that is going to shape me and mold me into the woman I’m meant to be. I can’t wait to see where this year leads me.