Senior Year: How Will We Define Ourselves?

Chris Arnaudo performing in the iconic Senior Boys Dance

Chris Arnaudo performing in the iconic “Senior Boys Dance”

Alycia Felli, Features Editor

For the past three years, we’ve watched in envy as the seniors underwent their special senior year “privileges”: front lot parking, filling the first row of the bleachers at football games, pulling the Senya Gal card, and sitting in the back right corner of the caf (not that the juniors don’t already infiltrate the area).

This year, we will watch in nostalgia as the freshman try to figure out their class schedule, the sophomores complain about having to be on the same floor as the freshman, and the juniors begin the most important year of their academic career (sorry guys, it’s true).

But senior year is more than that. Senior year is apparently the year where things are supposed to fall into place. But the thing is, there are no guarantees that things will fall into place in the way you want them too. And that’s ok.

Senior year is your last year of high school. Your last year of living without “adult” responsibilities. Your last year of living at home, and your last year of living in your hometown (for most).

There’s this massive misconception that you’re supposed to figure out every aspect of your adult life throughout your senior year of high school, especially in terms of a prospective career. Here’s the problem- we’re 17 and 18 years old, and we don’t even know what our plans are for the weekend, let alone what job we’ll have when we’re 30. A lot of pressure is put on our shoulders when the decisions we make now in terms of where we go to school or what you we study seemingly dictate our entire future.

The truth is, yes- the decisions you make this year will affect your future. But, every decision you’ve ever made in your past has done the exact same thing. That Pre-Calc test you didn’t study for? Maybe it didn’t make the biggest impact on your GPA, but it taught you to dedicate some more time after school for reviewing more complicated material. Not going to that homecoming dance freshman year? You missed out, and you’ve learned to appreciate school functions a little more. Buying that Free People sweater? Yeah it’s cute, but now you’re $90 less rich and have to pick up that shift on Sunday.

The point is, this year will define who you are in the same way that every other year has.

The difference is, you’ve been told for the longest time that the decisions you make this year are centripetal to your being. And in some ways they are. And they hold much more importance than most decisions you’ve ever had to make. And that’s ok. It’s an unavoidable and inevitable part of growing up. But that doesn’t mean you should be any less excited or any more nervous for the chapters that lie ahead.

So embrace change. You have no way of knowing what the future holds, and that’s the beauty of it. Those chapters of your book are unwritten, and let it stay that way. Your journey in life is continuous, and your actions and the decisions you make this year do not define you or the person you’ll be in 10 years. The person you are changes everyday, and the same holds true for yourself throughout senior year.

So… how will we define ourselves? We don’t know, and we don’t have to.