All I hear from my fellow seniors anymore is “I can’t wait to finally leave this place.”
While most people in my grade are suffering from a bad case of Senioritis, I feel plagued by a different kind of 12th-grade struggle.

     I’ve always been an extremely nostalgic and emotional person, so I knew that Senior year would be especially hard for me. The truth is, my high school time has been very much imperfect. I’ve bawled my eyes out about grades, injuries, breakups, insecurities, and everything else imaginable. Still, I know how lucky I am to go to a school as good as mine. Not every teacher is perfect, but I’m sure kids from other schools would kill to have teachers like my school’s. So many students say that the administration does not care about us, and while I don’t have too much credibility on this topic, I can say that anytime I’ve dealt with someone from administration, they have been nothing but helpful and kind. However, I know I am luckier than most people. I know a lot of people have terrible, life-altering experiences during high school. I don’t blame them for being excited to leave, for I know that not everyone had an experience as good as mine. I still just wish more people would appreciate how lucky we are in relativity. 

     I ran my last cross country home course race last week. If you know me or have read my previous posts, you know how much that sport means to me, so even though this wasn’t our last race of the whole season, I still found myself becoming so emotional. The woodchip hill has been the bane of my existence in the first mile of every home race, but that day, it suddenly didn’t seem like such an obstacle. I never thought I would miss that mound, but as I ran up it, I found myself hesitant to say goodbye. Later, as my coach addressed the seniors and a cross country mom gave us cupcakes, the tears started coming. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of girls cry at our banquet, but most girls hold it together right after the races. Still, being the mess that I am, I lost it as soon as my coach started talking. I found myself crying and laughing at the same time because it’s pretty hilarious that someone can be this unstable after simply getting a cupcake with her name on it. If anyone who watches The Bachelor remembers the Ashley Iaconetti laugh-cry, then you can picture exactly what I looked like.

     The next day, I talked to my French teacher about my college letter of recommendation. Up until that day, I had complained about AP French so damn much. The accent, the grammar quizzes, the audio recordings- it all just stresses me out. However, when I talked to my sweet Madame, I realized how much I was going to miss her and the class. She was so unreasonably nice about writing my letter considering I am half asleep every other day in her class. She is such a lovely person, and she’s so dedicated to helping us better our French. I know I’ll love my teachers in college just as much, if not more, but it still sucks to think about saying goodbye to her and all the other teachers who have made me a better learner.

     I haven’t even begun to process how to say goodbye to my best friends and my family. I don’t think I even have the capacity to accept those goodbyes yet. Just thinking about that makes me not want to get close to any new person, whether a friendship or relationship, for I don’t want to have to say goodbye to yet another person.

     I know it’s too early to worry about this stuff, and I absolutely hate myself for doing so. Still, you have to feel all the feelings. I also know that it’s only going to get harder from now on. Whenever this gets me really down, I remind myself:

1. You can’t be stuck in high school forever. You might love the relationships you’ve built and the memories you’ve made, but you can’t let that stop you from making new ones.

2. If you make the most of every day left, it’ll be easier to say goodbye because you’ll know you will have  made this place your own.

3. You will miss your friends, but the real ones will stick around *cue that song that goes “Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.” *

     It’s a pretty lonely feeling being the only person who expresses these struggles, especially because they really aren’t a big problem in the grand scheme of life, so most people don’t care, and that’s fine. I’ve put on my big girl pants for more challenging obstacles before, so I know I’ll be fine. I also know that I can’t be the only one who feels like this. I’m not saying you have to get as emotional about every little goodbye as I do; I am, however, saying you don’t have to conform to the senior stereotype. You don’t have to get Senioritis and stop caring when your mid-year grades go out. You also don’t have to go to every school event just because it’s your last chance to. Make it the year YOU want, not the year that the stereotype wants. Whatever you do, just make the year count in whatever way will bring you the most happiness.

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