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A graduating senior reflects on high school

by Bri Nutter, Staff Writer

 After high school, it’s time to make your impact on the world by using what you know, and what has helped develop you in high school. Make it count. Photo by Unsplash.
After high school, it’s time to make your impact on the world by using what you know, and what has helped develop you in high school. Make it count. Photo by Unsplash.

Senior year is something that every high school student looks forward to. When things get tough, the most common thing you’ll hear students say is “I can’t wait to graduate from this place!” As a senior now in that position, there are many things I have learned and lots of advice I want to give. While graduating is very exciting, it’s also very scary too.

The fourth quarter of senior year is the beginning of the end. Every student has to experience their last concert, last practice, last extracurricular meeting, last test, last time seeing their favorite teachers, last assembly, last award, last goodbye. While senior year is filled with many goodbyes, they all become starkly real when the fourth quarter hits.

This feeling has made me realize that I appreciate so many things that I have in high school more than I ever realized. There are a select few teachers that my life will not be the same without. They have been mentors to me and have helped shape me into the person I am today. It is scary to think about how important they are to me now, and how next year I will be a stranger to them just like that.

When a single building, community, and city becomes your whole life, it’s terrifying to imagine that in a short three months, your life will be completely different. Bradley has been a place where I have made so many memories and spent so much time. To imagine this building not being a part of my life anymore is overwhelming. I will greatly miss my teachers, friends, and the atmosphere of Bradley.

Since the Class of 2021 missed out on many aspects of senior year, I didn’t get to experience my last football game, my last homecoming parade and dance, my last pep rally, my last chance to get to see sports games and music concerts. I didn’t get to cherish my last experiences at these fun aspects of high school, because when they were happening I had no clue they would be the last of my high school career. This has made me appreciate how many experiences I did get to have as an underclassman. The COVID-19 pandemic took a lot away from my class, but I think it has shown the underclassmen how important it is to not take anything for granted.

As an underclassman, I wish I would’ve had a senior give me advice based on how they were feeling at graduation. Now that I’m a senior, I have a lot to say. The first and arguably most important point I want underclassmen to hear is that it’s so important to not focus so much on the little inconveniences of high school. Petty drama is going to happen. There will be teachers that you won’t get along with. Aspects of school will bother you. While it’s understandable to feel like the smaller things in high school seem like the end of the world, I promise it’s not. There are so many experiences that I allowed to get ruined by stressing over miniscule things. Take a deep breath and let it go. Find the positives where you can and soak up the memories while they are being made. You will appreciate it later.

Since COVID-19 took so much from my class, many of us as a collective have learned to not take anything for granted. There were many practices, rehearsals, and extracurricular activities as an underclassman that I complained about relentlessly. I allowed myself to be in a negative mindset about these things out of laziness and a lack of motivation. When COVID shut everything down my junior year, I was devastated. I wouldn’t be a part of these extracurricular activities if I didn’t truly enjoy them, but I wasted so much time complaining about them anyway. The effects of Covid carried into my senior year, and it caused half of my high school career to be affected. Looking back now, I wish I would’ve taken the time to appreciate the experiences and relationships I was building during these activities instead of complaining about them.

High school is a very unique environment that you will only experience once. The four short years fly by before you can even take a second to process that it’s over. These four years shape you into your own individual person and show you who you want to be in life.

After high school, it’s time to make your impact on the world by using what you know, and what has helped develop you in high school. Make it count. Make the most out of it. Most importantly, have so much fun while you're still a kid. It’ll be over before you know it.

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