As the second quarter comes to a close, I’ve found myself growing incredibly antsy. Even though our school schedules seem to change on a weekly basis, other aspects of my daily life have become relatively stagnant. I’ve received responses from each of the colleges that I’ve applied to, and luckily enough I’ve been spared the opening of any rejection letters. However, this means no more writing college essays, eagerly checking the mail, or refreshing my application portals. Coursework at school is more or less anticipative, and my routine doesn’t vary much. All of this leaves me wondering, more so than usual these past few weeks, if I’ve been doing things the right way or if there’s a right way to be doing things at all.
The short answer is no– there is no right or wrong way to go about your senior year or the decisions that you make during this time. It’s a strange realization when you hit the point where you’re not only able to start making decisions for yourself, but you have to make them for yourself. Your parents won’t be sleeping on an air mattress in your dorm, and your high school teachers won’t be there to take notes with you during your lectures. It really is up to you to decide what is going to make you happiest and most comfortable, which is a blessing and a curse. It’s beautiful to have freedom, but unnerving to be responsible now, more than ever, for your own future or at least for the next couple years of it.
Do you remember what it was like in middle school when you couldn’t wait to be a high schooler because you knew that you could pick your classes and take courses with kids from other grades, but definitely more importantly, that you’d be able to walk to the deli by yourself after school? That is the best way I can put in perspective how it feels to be looking forward towards the next couple of steps in my life. Although, instead of sandwiches and choosing fun electives, I am now anticipating being able to get out of the house, meet multitudes of new people, and further my education in a way that I’ve tailored to my desires.
As I grow closer to making a decision about college, I also grow closer to the side of me that likes to sit back and reflect. Now, I wouldn’t agree with anyone who says that high school is the best four years of your life, (if that’s the case, then we’re all in for a wild ride) but I would agree with the statement that they’re some of the most formative years of your life. High school, from a cynical point of view, is the epitome of teenage angst condensed into 720 days filled with never ending homework, painful break-ups, rocky friendships, rigorous classes, and hours of extracurriculars. If you’ve made it this far and you’re still pushing through, then consider your time at BHS quattuor annis mirabilia– four years of miracles.
If you ever find yourself questioning the validity of your experiences, then I encourage you to look back at how far you’ve come, as well. If you’re reading this, then you’re no longer a bright-eyed, sweaty-palmed freshman stepping into high school for the first time. By now, you’ve begun to solidify your core values, you’ve experienced triumph, and you’ve felt heartbreak. You’ve picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and put yourself back in the game. Progress isn’t linear– and any steps in the right direction, big or small, are steps worth celebrating.