Senior Year. The culmination of what feels like everything up until this point in life. Every grade, score, and relationship suddenly hold a new importance. Constantly focused on the future while somehow trying to live in the moment. Everything feels a little bit heavier and a bunch more nostalgic. But from the first day of school, to applying to college, to prom, to graduation parties all leading up to the big day itself-what about the day to day?
The beginning of senior year felt just as I had always imagined it. My whole grade -I go to a small school, and there are only 38 of us-gathered at school the night before the first day and designed custom parking spots in chalk and wrote cheesy senior quotes all over our cars. It felt like the first big event of a very momentous year. It seemed like all the things I’ve seen on social media or in movies that screamed: SENIOR!. After a long summer of anticipation, it was finally senior year.
Even the first week of school still existed in this bubble where nothing felt real. It didn’t feel like I had truly reached such an important part of life. Our technical first day of school was a college bootcamp which brought with it the reality that over the coming months I would actually be applying to college, something I had been preparing for and fretting over since freshman year. The next day was our last first day back in class, where every teacher liked to start class with “Well I remember back when you were…”. Although we all feigned annoyance, I think we liked thinking about the memories we had shared over the years.
Now in my mind I think some part of me forgot that just like any year, senior year isn’t just a collection of moments to be displayed with witty captions on my Instagram. Just like any other year, there are the tedious moments of acclimating to new classes, staying up much later than you would like to study for that test, and all the normal high school drama. But it was like I expected life to simply fast forward from important moment to important moment, surpassing the monotony.
It was so easy to just get bored and wait for the next big thing. This became much worse when I took a trip to Auburn University early in the year to visit a friend. I lamented for the next two weeks about how I wished high school would just be over so I could finally get to college and live my life.
But then sometimes it would hit me. I would think about how this could be my last time experiencing something I’ve always taken for granted. Or I would remember that my best friends might not be a 5-minute drive away next year.
It’s far too easy to see the light at the end of what has felt like a long and daunting tunnel and immediately want to run to it. But it’s also so important to cherish the small moments. Obviously, the big moments are going to be memorable. But, the more minute ones that you might not even think about until they are over will too.
The times just sitting with your friends reminiscing over your favorite memories. All those early morning drives to school when you take a second to really think about things. Even those random conversations you have with people you aren’t close with and seeing new parts of their personality. Because what social media or the movies rarely show is the in between, the day to day. You have to be intentional about making the small moments count.