8 Phases That High School Seniors Cycle Through

1. I’m a Senior: August

At the beginning of each school year, all of us, young and old remember family friends asking us, “So what grade are you going to be in this year?” And at last… the moment has arrived when you get to proudly reply, “I’m a senior.” Being a senior, you are in charge of everything and you know how to run the show because you have already watched it done three times in a row. Now it’s your turn. Whether it’s answering the freshmen’s questions or roaming the hallways during class, whatever you do looks cool to everyone else. Plus there are tons of new activities you get to participate in like senior night, homecoming, queen of courts, and graduation. The year is glowing with opportunities to make great memories and expectations for an incredibly fun last year. You are very excited to embark on this school year.

2. Make The Best of Everything: September-November

The school year is off to a great start. Friday night football games, cross country meets, and calculus keep you occupied. There is this constant yet distant reminder though, that these are some of the last times you will be participating in these activities. But nothing is too bittersweet yet. It’s still the beginning of the year, and you have plenty of time to accomplish all the things that you want to do this year. Both of these thoughts battle against each other for the rest of the school year, so you live in the moment, just in case you don’t get another chance.

3. So What are Your Plans For After High School: December

As first semester comes to a close, you suddenly become the most popular person. Not in school per say, but among everyone who is curious what your plans are for next year. The questions are endless. Sometimes the same people ask you the same question because they forget what you said or because you said you didn’t know the first time. Everyone means well. But these questions make you realize just how ignorant you are of your own future. Will you go to college? Where will you go to college? Can you afford college? What do you want to major in? What do you want to do for the rest of your life? These simple questions give high school seniors anxiety. We don’t know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Enough said.

4. I’m Not Saying Goodbye For Forever. Or Am I: January

Reality begins to set in once you write the date of the year you graduate on your homework assignments. During lunch, you look across the table at your closest friends and wonder, “How on earth am I going to say good-bye to these people?” You and your friends begin to joke around about how you’ll figure out a halfway point between your colleges that you can meet up at and you’ll spend the whole summer together before you separate. It’s not serious talk, just mentioning it, because it’s the most popular subject at the lunch table these days. During these next few months, you think a lot about your friends and your family. About how much you will miss them when they are gone. This reflecting helps you be grateful for the time that you have left with them, and you begin to take every opportunity to spend time with them that you can. You worry a lot. You worry that your example will be forgotten after you leave. You worry that your friends will make new friends and leave your memory in the past. You worry that your team will forget your example. You just think “what if.” There’s a lot to ponder.

5. Who Has Time To Think, I’m Busy: February

February hits and you don’t have time to sit and think anymore. Scholarships are waiting to be filled out, last minute college visits are being done, you scroll your grades more than you scroll Facebook, and you become addicted to this new thing called coffee. Staying busy keeps you from feeling emotional about anything, and you just go with it.

6. I’m Ready To Be Done: March

If February was busy, March is insanely hectic. Everything you were doing in February, you continue to do, while more work gets added to your pile. But somehow you manage to keep up with everything. Although you have a lot of work to get done, your motivation isn’t that hot. You’ve been in this crazy cycle for almost two months now to no avail–you’re ready to be done. You’re ready to graduate. You tell everyone that too. At this point, days feel the same; you’re just going through the motions now. You feel that this school is getting old. You want new experiences, new people, new surroundings. You’re ready to be done.

7. The Last Times: April

The crazy cycle continues. Yet somehow, one day you wake up re-energized and you’re ready to finish strong. There is only one more scholarship essay left to write and you pride yourself on turning the other fifteen scholarships in on time. You plan your senior pranks at school and initiate them. You finish handing out all your senior pictures. You do things for the last time, and you fully realize that it is the last time and you accept it. But then you start doing weird things. Like you start forgiving people that you’ve held a grudge with since 1st grade. You start giving the freshmen advice. You start giving everyone advice from your experience. Good advice that is. You want to help people have just as an amazing high school experience as you did. Your heart softens, and you’re not in such a hurry to leave track practice when it’s done, or leave period. But you work through the kinks and figure out how to accept everything as it is.

8. Graduation Day: May

On the first day of the month you make a countdown till graduation day. You talk about nothing but your plans for the following year and inquire after everyone else what their’s is. You’re excited! All your hard work is about to come to a conclusion. On graduation day, you’re even more excited! You feel awkward in your cap and gown, but so does everyone so you dismiss any uneasiness. When you walk down the aisle, you feel like a boss. As the administrator from your school announces various topics, you have a conversation with yourself about the reality of your life right now. All of your years at your school flash before your eyes, and the mental slideshow stops at the stage you are looking at right now. You mentally accept everything that has happened to you, the good and the bad, and accept it all for the better. After you walk across the stage and seize your diploma, you are not the same person you were before crossing the stage. You are strong, you are responsible, and you are so very proud of the person you have worked to become. And you deserve to feel that way. Graduation day becomes one of the highlights of your senior year not because of the obvious accomplishment, but because you personally blossom.

Congratulations graduates! I hope you attain the goals you dedicate yourself to in life and that the future you saw from your seat in your high school auditorium is everything you hoped it would be!

Featured photo credit: http://baycitycentral.com/announcements/457-5-12-15-srnews

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