An Ode to Seniority

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Saffron Sener | Editor in Chief

August 15, 2016

Over the past three years, I’ve grown accustomed to greeting my upperclassmen acquaintances, specifically those of the senior persuasion, in the halls, and looked forward to forging new trails between classes in order to facilitate this. Through extracurriculars such as drama and choir, I’ve befriended and come to love many above me grade-wise, and I’ve always felt the part of the underclassman—even as a junior, my stance in the high-school hierarchy lay over-shadowed.

These friends, though, are now either gone or leaving; off at college, or working, or simply enjoying summer. They’ve moved on where I’ve stayed behind. To put it in simplest form, they’ve graduated.

However, on August 15th, or the first day of my senior year, I looked for those gone. I walked the halls, expecting to see a familiar senior face.

The sense of secondary social standing had not disappeared, though the many declarations from family and friends that as a senior I was destined to “rule the school.” I walked as I always did; no part of me felt at the top of the food chain.

Then I realized what had not yet dawned on me: I was in the highest grade. I was on top.

For the last three years of my life, I so wished to join my junior and senior friends at the top. I yearned to graduate with them; the mere thought of going on seemed unbearable. Those teary senior send-offs at end of the year banquets felt like permanent goodbyes. Now, this was untrue, because not only would I see them again, but I would most likely see said senior that very summer, and the one after that, and so on. We were friends, after all.

What was different, each year, was the fact that I was inching closer to that position. In my mind, I was (and am) an underclassmen. These three years, I’ve been shielded by those above me from my own vulnerability. I’ve never needed to take on a year without someone nearby to empathize with; someone who had taken the course and could understand. I always had people to give tips, or ask advice from.

Instead of being a classroom away, they were now a phone call away. And a phone call seems a lot more intimidating than simply meeting someone at their locker.

Who knows, maybe now that they’re living their lives outside of high school, they’re too busy for me. I’m still legally bound to attend school, after all.

Though most certainly untrue, it still seems a scary possibility.

Today, August 15th, I started school scared. To be completely honest, my schedule alone is enough to make me want to stay home. I walked onto campus, like any other day; this summer seemed so short that rather than a multi-week break, my entrance back into SCHS seemed a return from a long weekend. In all honesty, today felt an extension of junior year. I traversed the halls, greeting my friends. Looking around, I finally recognized the slight difference that had been bothering me.

The very grade I had been with since kindergarten, the same people I grew up with, who I knew through puberty and many embarrassing phases, was the oldest on campus. We are beginning on our last year of public, required education, together. In a few short months, we’ll all be accepting pieces of ever-important paper in our caps and gowns, saying our final good-byes, leaving each other for weeks, months, years, or forever. Something that my upperclassmen friends had to experience already.

To be completely honest, this thought is terrifying. The idea that I’m attending my last year of school (required, at least), is petrifying. It seems like I was searching for my classes on Upper Campus just a week ago. To think that I’ll be moving away for college, leaving behind my friends, family, and all that I’ve grown accustomed to, in less than a year is absolutely insane.

Something I’ve been waiting for my entire life, something I’ve been excited for, wishing for, since high school started, is finally here. To say the least, I’m intimidated.

Though my ever-present fears, I am nonetheless ecstatic to embark on my final year at SCHS. My instinct tells me that most of my peers feel the same way.

We aren’t alone. We’re just leading the procession out of high school.
That’s a pretty exciting thought, if you ask me.

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