Okay Seniors, this is it.
By my count, we’ve been at Sequoia for exactly 715 days; in other words, about ¼ the study time realistically needed to earn the IB Diploma. We have (unlike our gel pens) survived hundreds of tests, sleepless nights and a small forest’s-worth of B-pages. We’ve contended with the horrors of cafeteria lines, hallway traffic and this year’s beast: construction. Collectively, we’ve asked hundreds of thousands of times: “will binders be checked?”, “is this graded?”; and, for the unfortunate few (you poor souls): “does this count for CAS hours?”
We entered this school as tender freshmen and are leaving slightly more tender and much more bruised.
Call it graduation goggles, but looking back, I remember the 4 a.m. grind with more reverence than my sleep-deprived psyche appreciated at the time. I’d say these last four years have been the most important in my life so far. There’s no way I could do justice to the whole hash of happiness, hope and petrifying cringe that is four years of high school, but, looking back, it’s hard not to smile.
I remember back to the beginning of high school, entering the hallway a meek, small freshman. I remember, after a particularly tumultuous weekend, starting my third week of high school strapped in two casts and sporting an alarmingly rickety crutch. Thus, I added to my accolade of titles: “the lil’ freshman who got run over by a car” and “mascot of room 301”—the latter being a title I’ve retained until our own Liv Popper usurped me this year. But then, who can compete with a blonde, brown-eyed Lab?
I remember some of my first production nights for Journalism—our late-night newspaper layout sessions—where seemingly untouchable people danced around the semantics of the Oxford comma and the way “Pawn Stars” sounds in a British accent (seriously, try saying it).
All these brilliant, creative people and they accepted an awkward, broken-legged kid into their fold without thinking twice.
I remember the start of junior year as an upperclassman—then promptly having that confidence shattered by my first Pre-Calc quiz.
And then I remember the start of this year as a senior, hoping that this year might finally be easier—then promptly having that hope shattered by Zaat. Who would have thought that olives could make you so angsty?
Hilariously, I remember this last issue when both Mars and Page 2 of the newspaper simultaneously broke. If you’ve never seen a five-foot-tall punk laughing uncontrollably under a desk, you haven’t truly experienced Sequoia Journalism.
So, as the dust settles on this four-year hurdle, I have just a few more tips to give.
To freshmen: Welcome! Know that everyone lies and freshman year DOES count. Be supremely thankful that you arrived in the age of Mr. Priest’s beautiful beard.
To sophomores: Welcome to the beginning of the end. Cherish the skin under your eyes not yet blemished by insomnia.
To juniors: The difference between a college and a university is that one is inside the other, mostly, but not in Europe (except sometimes). And that is about as understandable as college applications get, so please ask Ms. Ignaitis for help.
And finally, to the graduating class of 2017: Look forward to the future, and to new questions like “can you cook pasta without a pot?” and “college costs how much?”; but never—and I mean never—forget what it means to wear purple with pride in a place of friends.