Column: It’s beginning to feel a lot like senior year


Photo credit: JD Renes

While reflecting on the first semester of her senior year, Gracie Wilson found that this photo encapsulated her experiences and current emotions in December.

Why hello there, loyal Oracle readers! Gracie Wilson here, reporting live from the end of the first semester of my senior year. I’ve decided recently that for the remainder of the school year, I will be documenting month-by-month my goings-on and feelings of high school seniorhood. 

Let me tell you — senior year is weird. Somehow, everything feels both monumental and monotonous all at once. I switch between feeling overwhelmingly old and overwhelmingly young each week. I reflect on my high school years but also think excessively about what’s ahead. And what’s ahead is both scary and exciting. This is all to say that senior year feels quite out of the ordinary, and I want to archive my experiences in my final year of high school. 

Okay, let’s be real. I am a pretty sentimental person. I bawled my eyes out at my elementary school graduation, I rewatchNew Girl every few months because I can’t bear the thought that the series has ended and every now and then I use my childhood shampoo just ‘cause. So it is no surprise that being in my final year at Archer is quite an emotional experience for me. 

As each Archer occasion passes — the first day of school, Founder’s Day, the upper school musical — I feel the sense that something has ended, that I am leaving something behind. Though there are some things I am ready to let go of, like scrambling to make a poster board and a batch of Rice Krispies Treats the night before the club fair, I am mostly sad to say goodbye to the events and little rituals that have been constants in my Archer career. It is unimaginable that sitting under the courtyard bell and chatting with friends after rehearsal or getting a chocolate chip challah from Belwood for Friday advisory will no longer be part of my routine. 

The funny thing about the first semester of senior year, however, is that I have a whole load more to look forward to, so it doesn’t truly feel like I am reaching the end of this journey called high school. I can’t quite legitimize the nostalgia that I inevitably feel because I’ve yet to buy my prom dress, to plan Spirit Week, to put up the Maypole. With so much excitement to come, it’s easy to pretend that I am not in the process of reaching the end of an era. 

I know what you’re all thinking — Gracie is so cheesy. Yup! That’s me! But if you’re sick of my schmaltzy nonsense, have no fear. There’s still one more, somewhat less soppy thing I would like to address: honors papers.

As some of you intellectuals might know, Archer seniors are able to take their language and humanities seminar courses at either a regular or honors level. Those who seek honors credit are expected to write an additional 8-to-10-page paper per semester. 

This is a bomb opportunity for independent study and one of the best freaking choices I have made in planning my schedule. But let me just say that when a deadline is approaching, I have seen a large chunk of the senior class break into a feverish panic. And, considering I am quite the procrastinator myself, I am surely included in this mass trepidation.

In the moments where I am hunched over my computer at 2 a.m., my Harry Potter-esque reading glasses perched on my nose and a quilt draped over my head, I lose perspective and I can only think about the stressful task at hand (in this case, my honors papers). But what I must recall, and what I encourage my fellow seniors to recall, is that I only have so many late nights left. Maybe I am the only chick who gets sentimental about academic crunch time, but, well, what can I say? My days are numbered and my high school cram sessions are limited. 

I want to enjoy my time in high school, no matter how busy, while I can. I want to accept each present moment in its own vacuum devoid of unnecessary stress. I want to cherish each of my final gosh darn high school days.