Senior Year: A Year of Firsts and Lasts
By Mikayla Carroll
With a new school year starting and the summer coming to a close, the first question everyone gets asked on the first day of school is, “how was your summer?” When I answer, I’m blunt: “Boring. But productive.” And this is true, as this summer was spent getting things done, meaning dual enrolling two classes and getting a job – instead of the typical vacation and relaxed summer I had been hoping for.
Not that I have any regrets, as everything I accomplished in these past few months will surely be helpful to me, and my college applications, but I do feel as though I could have done more, or more “fun” stuff at least.
It’s finally sinking in that this was my last summer as a high school student, and my very last, first day of school has passed. Although I feel some nostalgia, I still find myself looking ahead. I don’t long for my years of high school, but instead, I can barely contain my excitement for the days to come.
Senior year is one of the most romanticized years of all of high school. It’s the year where I get to experience all the “lasts” including that last first day of school, last class with all my closest friends, and last time writing an article for my school newspaper – to name a few. I find this more exciting than anything because it means that I have many “firsts” that I get to look forward to soon, including my first graduation, my first trip to Europe this upcoming spring break, and eventually, my first day of college.
However, senior year is never as easy as everyone may think. These first few months involve more work than ever between juggling a load of AICE and AP classes, a part-time job, and submitting college applications. No one lied about senior year flying by; here I am talking about the end of summer, while we’re well into the fall months and the end of the first quarter of the year is nearing.
It’s worth mentioning that the entire college application process is far different than I thought it would be. A few years ago, I envisioned starting my applications at the end of junior year, summer of senior year, at the latest; maybe even applying early to find out where I would end up before most others did. I may have dreamed this, but it ended up staying just a dream. I have yet to turn in a single application. Maybe that’s the procrastinator in me, but, talk to any other high school senior and they will likely tell you they are in the same situation: waiting until the last possible second to begin what they maybe should have already started.
It’s an intimidating venture, and it always seems impossible until it’s done. With over 700 students in my senior class, not everyone is going to fit in an appointment with their guidance counselor. Also, the entire format is almost entirely different than when our parents applied for college. Today there are online, general applications, ones that can be used toward more than one school. I throw around the names “Coalition” and “Common Application” and oftentimes I’ll get the follow-up question asking me to explain either of those processes.
Essentially, I feel as though these deadlines have crept up on me, and it doesn’t feel as real as I thought it would by this time. Although there is likely some stress up ahead, I welcome it because it is only getting me closer to where I want to be.