If you ask any Lancer what his or her favorite day of the school year is, he or she may say Lancer Day, or the homecoming football game or maybe the first day of school. For me, the last day of school is my favorite. It is the only day where you can finally unwind and begin your summer of relaxation without a worry on your mind. But this year, there will be one thing in the back of my mind on that last day: I will officially be a senior. It feels weird to type and even weirder to hear said by other people.
Becoming a senior means several things. It means sitting in the front row at basketball games and choosing the themes. It means being the rowdiest section at the pep assemblies even though all the other sections (excluding the freshmen, of course) are just as loud. Most of all, it means that I will be one of the oldest in the school for the first time since the Mission Valley days. For the past three years, the Class of 2012 has always been there to help me through high school and offer advice. Next year, instead of looking up to the grade above, the grades below will be looking up to me and my graduating class.
My senior status will give me the opportunity to run the school. I can park in the front row of the senior lot without getting tagged, go out to lunch without teachers saying a thing, leave seminar without any chance of getting in trouble and best of all, I’ll have the responsibility of continuing East’s sacred traditions.
On the other hand, senior year means that my time at East is nearly over. In 12 months I will be walking out the doors of East for “the best four years of my life.” Even though I have been counting down the years until I become a senior since my freshman year, I am getting hit with the bittersweet reality that my days at Shawnee Mission Wonderful are very numbered.
With my last year at East, I want to make sure I don’t have any regrets and leave my stamp on the school. Senior year is about giving back to the school that has given you everything you’ve learned the past three years. Whether it’s through Link Crew, SHARE, sports, theater or in my case, journalism, it’s important to remember what you’ve learned the past six semesters and prepare to hand it down to the next class.
If the class ahead of the junior class doesn’t leave behind any of their experience or insight, the next class will just be a step behind, confused and unready for seniority. A senior class is only as good as its predecessors leave it to be, and I think it’s safe to say our senior class did a superb job.
Now, it is our job as seniors to take the torch and run the school like our prede-seniors would have wanted. Whether it’s giving the underclassmen advice on classes or teaching them what Club Baño exactly is, it’s our duty to prepare the seniors of tomorrow. We will be the class looked up to and will be expected to be East’s role models. For some juniors, it will mean stepping up in STUCO; for others it will mean being the captain of the soccer team. For me, it will mean helping incoming writers get the feel for working on the Harbinger, as well as taking over the holy pre-meet rituals in cross-country. No matter what it is, it is important to reflect on what we’ve learned and pass it on.
I can vividly remember the days when I was taken on a tour by my Link Crew leader and when I discovered what would be my home away from home for the next four years. I discovered the hallways I would stumble through every morning in a half-asleep coma. I also discovered the place that would shape me more than any school had before and a class of seniors that taught me what it truly means to be a Lancer. I’ve grown more at East than I ever have before and it is hard to believe that in a few months I will be saying goodbye to the school.
When I look back at high school I’m not going to want to regret any part of it. So, I would like to make the best out of my last year at East because I know I’ll never be able to be a high schooler ever again in my life.
In a couple weeks, I will be throwing my backpack in my car for the last time until the middle of August. Unlike my previous last days, I won’t just be thinking about my summer, but also how I want to spend my last year as a Lancer.