A timeline of the seniors’ lifetimes

In fall, freshman year is the freezing, full-body shock of unfamiliarity when you leap headfirst into a cold pool. In winter, it’s never making it from Nichols to Shah in five minutes and not knowing that there are classrooms in the Edge or four bathrooms in Main. In spring, it’s not really understanding the frenzy and tumult that surround APs and college applications but still coming together as a class and bonding with students from every grade.

Sophomore year is the bizarre limbo between plunging headfirst into high school and realizing that it’s nearly over. Sophomores no longer have the excuse of being a freshman but haven’t yet attained the seniority of being an upperclassman. It’s rolling eyes at freshmen in Main, already knowing the shortest route from building to building, forming new friendships and trying to figure out one’s identity.

Junior year is receiving more than expected and realizing that while the continuous challenges fail to recede, the few subtle but sweet moments of the year prove to be the best of all experiences. It’s feeling unstoppable while being weighed down by the pressure to join the winner’s circle. It’s remembering the mundane moments which, in the end, turned out to be the only ones that mattered.

There seems to be no real way to describe senior year. It starts like a tsunami: personal statement drafts, senior portraits, college interviews, academic coursework, and all those extracurricular activities you spent years crafting and molding. Right when the wave relaxes, you realize that everything is almost gone as you put together your senior collage, try on your graduation gown, and watch your series of “lasts” approach. It’s the combination of wishing for more, savoring the old, and dreaming about the new.

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on May 4, 2016.