The year of second to lasts

Senior year is known as the year of lasts: Last homecoming, last home game, last band concert, last prom, last everything. Because I’m a junior, I haven’t experienced that quite yet, but it’s still strange knowing that my time has almost come.

For the last three years, I have been in the audience or on the sidelines to witness some of the bittersweet moments seniors face as they begin their transition from high school to the “real world.” During these events, there have been mixed emotions from students: I’ve seen tears, sighs of relief, and some who just want to know when they can go home. This year, however, it hit me that soon it would be me going through this.

In a way, it’s scary to know I’m up next to experience everything for the “last time.” As a freshman and sophomore, the idea of playing my last band concert or dancing my last competition seemed decades away. Even as a junior, it seems impossible that I’m so close to the end of high school, though I’m just now starting to accept it. I’ve even caught myself thinking of activities and events as the “second to last time” I’ll do them.

I don’t mean to sound selfish, but whenever I see the seniors being recognized for their last year on the team or in a group, I can only imagine myself in that same position next year. I know a year is still a long ways away, but I’m sure the seniors felt like that last year, and here they are now.

When the graduating seniors walk across the stage at Riverside Arena, I’m certain I’ll be somewhere in the crowd having a panic attack because the next class to walk across the stage is mine.

But there’s no reason for me to get sentimental or ahead of myself now, because I still have the best year of high school to experience and enjoy.

Alex Smith is a junior at Austin High School involved in dance team, National Honor Society and the Sentinel student newspaper.

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