Senior year is a transitory period. High school is ending, and everyone’s primary focus is on making a life for his or herself. It’s basically trial-mode for adulthood, with the privileges of being a child blending with the responsibilities of “real life.”
Even so, most students (myself included) are practically busting down the doors with excitement to graduate. Despite this, high school has its fair share of redeeming qualities. Two things I will miss are kid privileges and of course, my friends.
Seventeen and 18 are strange ages. Fortunately, we’re still seen as special when we do something particularly mature or interesting.
An 18-year-old senior with a job, a high grade-point average and a social life is precocious; a college freshman with the same is mildly impressive. The older we get, the more we’re expected to have it all together.
As such, the work that goes into maintaining everything previously mentioned isn’t appreciated in a young adult as much as it is in a school-aged teenager.
Also, the idea of coming home to your parents’ cooking or being looked after when you’re sick are almost exclusive to living at home and going to school every morning. These comforts won’t necessarily die out completely after graduation, but they’ll likely become a rarity.
And despite what colleges claim in their brochures, high school class sizes are miniscule compared to their higher education counterparts.
I know there will be new friendships after high school, but those I’ve maintained and met over the past four years are a special breed. School friends are more important than they seem. They’re comrades and confidants who understand the ins and outs of day-to-day life and are able to compare, complain and empathize in a way that no one else can.
Sure, friends come and go and that’s nothing to angst over. Maybe the same goes for college friends and career friends, but to loosely paraphrase Stand by Me, does anyone have friends like the friends they had at 18?
Those of us who are on the brink of adulthood are all a little scared or nervous, and I think that’s normal. We wonder how we’re going to make it “out there” when we can barely order pizza over the phone.
Despite that, I remain optimistic. Although major changes occur over the course of a life, some things remain the same. I’m much different now than I was at thirteen, but I still like watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and listening to My Chemical Romance.
Life is funny that way, I suppose. So we’ll carry on, face changes and move forward, but we will always have our high school memories in which to find comfort.
Hannah Barger is a senior at Wilson Central High School and plans to attend Tennessee Tech University in the fall and major in journalism.