A walk to remember
Those who graduated in years past always warned us that senior year would slip by before we knew it. Of course, my juvenile junior self disregarded their statements and dove headfirst into the storm.
Although time flashed before my eyes and each moment seemed to disappear before it even came, this past year has most definitely changed me as an individual and my outlook on life, and I’ll even venture to say that it has changed these things for the better.
High school has been a rough journey, no doubt. From newfound social anxieties to the impending need to succeed to the looming burden of time management, there was no escaping these past four years with a dry eye. My stress levels resembled the graph of a sinusoidal curve, and my dependency on caffeine seems to mirror an exponential growth curve… and the fact that I just drew comparisons between my life and STEM concepts is quite a statement in itself. But I will walk away from high school (in 14.5 weeks, not that I’m counting) with very few regrets, and I’m happy to say that I made the most of my time at Starr’s Mill.
One lesson that I was fortunate enough to learn early on was to take any and all opportunities possible. If a door opened, “no” was a very limited word in my vocabulary. I walked through the doors of Starr’s Mill prepared to be an active member of the student body, and I made it a deliberate goal of mine to make lasting bonds with both my peers and faculty members. I took the risk freshman year of competing in the Miss Starr’s Mill Scholarship Pageant, an experience through which I made countless friendships and learned irreplaceable lessons in confidence, performing, and public speaking. If I hadn’t taken this opportunity, I wouldn’t have gone on to Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen or made connections with renowned professionals, nor would I have scholarship money set aside for me to kickstart my freshman year in college.
In addition to Miss Starr’s Mill, the school provides numerous clubs and organizations that allow for each and every student to find a niche or to follow a passion. Leadership has been one of my callings since elementary school, so I was thrilled when I discovered that the Mill had several chances for me to foster that passion of mine. Through serving in positions such as class president for three years, both Beta Club vice president and president, class representative for Principal’s Student Advisory Board and as a Student Government Association officer for three years, I had a voice within the student body that allowed me to feel comfortable approaching other students and our faculty. I learned that Starr’s Mill not only “Demands Excellence” when it comes to academics, but it also demands that students express excellence through their own definition, whether it be sports, fine arts, leadership, community service or camaraderie.
While this may sound like a message to all of the underclassmen to take the most of the their high school experiences, it serves an alternate purpose as well. We, the Class of 2017, have 100 days left until graduation. That’s 62 school days. Now subtract the days we miss for AP testing, flu season, sporting events, field trips and mysterious cases of senioritis. How many days do we have left? How many days do YOU have left to make your high school years count? This is the homestretch, the last lap, the final sprint. Consider how many minutes and hours and days and weeks and months we’ve spent counting down until we “could get out of this place,” and in a blink of an eye, the end is actually here. That hit me hard to put it all into perspective. Like I said, no one escapes these past four years with a dry eye.
But the real point of all this nostalgic talk is that there is time left. The end isn’t here yet. It’s not too late, and it won’t be until we hear the ring of our names echoing through the stadium speakers on May 26, 2017, as a sea of black unites as one for the last time. We have 14.5 weeks, 14 weekends, 100 days and 62 school days left to make our final memories as the Class of 2017. Every moment counts, and instead of praying that class will end or wishing the days away, I fully intend on appreciating the tiny sliver of high school we have left.
This is an experience we will never have the chance to relive, so let’s take advantage of this prime time in our lives and not throw away a moment of it. Let’s make it a walk to remember.