One Last Reflection


Anna Lee, Staff Writer & Business Manager

Senior year is about reflection, and it seems to be rigged that way. You start out the year writing your Common App essay where you somehow have to squeeze the essence of your entire existence into 650 coherent rearrangements of the alphabet. Then come college supplementals, scholarship essays, and random coworkers asking you about what you’ve accomplished and where you’ll be headed.

Just when you think you’re out of the woods, you’ll encounter the most daunting task of all (if you’re on the Norse Star, that is). Writing your senior column. Unlike uncomfortably awkward conversations with adults you barely know or a few paragraphs you submit and never have to see again, these words from my senior column will be cemented in stone. Well, not really, but almost. They’ll be printed 600 times and published on (which you should check out) and distributed to students, teachers, and parents to read. Is this thing really required?

Anyway, back to reflection. So at this point in the school year, you have two types of seniors: the sappy, sentimental nostalgic who is afraid for high school to end and the eager, get-me-the-heck-out-of-here visionary who is scared too, but also ready to move on to life after high school. I feel like I’m a little bit of both, so I’ll take this opportunity to give a little bit of a pep-talk slash cheesy reminiscence of these past four years.

When I think about the question “Who am I?”–which happe

ns a lot, perks of being in Erik Erikson’s fifth stage of psychosocial development–it’s hard for me to feel a cohesive sense of identity from elementary school to now. In these past 12 years of mandatory education by the government, I’ve attended six schools in three different states. Each time I’ve moved, I’ve felt like I’ve left some aspects of myself behind to make room for the new parts of my identity I’ve picked up along the way. The obnoxious, extroverted child I was in elementary school was replaced by the overachieving, know-it-all middle schooler, which was then replaced by the me of the present. A me that is, hopefully, much more humble and knowledgeable than the me of a decade ago.

Change for me hasn’t been a linear progression of evolution into a “better” person who has their life together. I left behind overeagerness and replaced it with procrastination. I’ve left behind an incessant need for validation and accidentally obtained social awkwardness in its place. Even though not all my changes have been positive, I still feel like I’m inching closer to something that is. Every mistake I’ve made (which is many) and every experience I have come to relish or abhor is all part of the process.

As a wise man once said, “Get to the point.” So, change is inevitable. I can’t stop the wave of the future that is about to whisk me away from high school to college. Although I know not everything in the future will be bright and shiny (spare the sunny weather that awaits me in Florida), I’m still looking forward to it. I’m p

syched to see the person I’ll become during college, whether that’s a mess who’s still a work-in-progress or a mature grad who has their life together finally. No matter what happens, it’ll still be a step in the right direction worth taking.