Senior Year

by Jamie Spain

As a senior, these last few days of the year are stressful and confusing. I’ve never wanted to leave a place more, yet, somehow, I’ve never wanted to stay more either. I can’t believe that after spending the majority of my cognitive life in one place, I will be leaving everything behind to pursue my future. Everybody always asks you what you want to be when you grow up, where you want to go, what you want to do, but now that it is our time to decide, nobody has a clue. HB has been preparing us for the day when we are set free, preparing a legion of doctors and lawyers and international scholars. HB has been preparing swarms of athletes and artists and ivy leaguers, but, HB is also preparing a bunch of kids to make a decision that adults can’t even figure out. I think I know what I want, where I want to be, who I will see when I look in the mirror twenty years from now, but the rest of the world isn’t always as easy as a classroom. The real world isn’t fair and consistent, it hurtles you through an obstacle course just to drop you in the mud and say someone else was faster, or their wallet was fatter, or their name was bigger. At HB we are all top of our game, collecting awards and sending our opponents home empty handed. At HB we don’t have jobs and rent and mouths to feed, we mostly just sit there and enjoy the ride. As seniors, we are not quite entering the real world. Our parents are still supporting us, we most likely have a curfew, and every dollar we make goes into our own piggy bank. But this step closer to being our own person in every way possible is exhilarating in its fear and excitement. Like an adrenalin rush, heart beating loudly, face flushed, this monotonous and average step is the biggest move in most of our lives. Everyone says, “keep calm,” they ask, “are you scared?,” they say, “don’t be.” But they are wrong. I think it’s good to be scared. Something so grand and new and life changing should be feared. Its difference and exhilaration reaches places of our mind that we didn’t even know we had. Fear it. Fear it as the most beautiful and wonderful thing, as the first step to your own success, as the first step to becoming your own person in every inch of your mind. Fear it as the inevitable, as the charm you thought you would never receive, as the water before you take the jump off the rocks. And as you fear it, take it and snap it into pieces and use your fear as fuel to push yourself forward and move. Use that fear to tell yourself that you are stronger than you thought, braver than you knew, and that these fears are no match for your persistence. As a senior, these last few days of the year ARE stressful and confusing, but in the most magical way possible. Like hatching out of our shells, we are ready to fly, we have been prepared and taught and know the logistics of every wing movement. We are ready to find our own way.