We all recognize the signs of going back to school. But for those students who are returning only one last time, the shorter days and colder weather are not such disheartening things.
Yep, it's what all high school students look forward to: to be known as a big, bad senior.
It's the last nine months of your life as a kid before achieving that much anticipated position in adulthood.
It's a year of opportunity to give it your all and not let anything get in the way of your dreams.
It's your last chance to play your heart out in that final game, take an easy class and make the most of the muscle contest at the homecoming activities.
It's when you're given first dibs on lockers, your own seat on the bus and the very best of the best, simply based on your social rank.
It's not your freshman year, when you were pushed into place at the back of the line, told how to be accepted and expected to carry the medicine kit on road trips. You learned each bit of the way from years of schooling and bore the heavy load.
It's time, now, to receive your earned position of highest status on the totem pole.
It's when your class will out-yell, out-cheer and out-win all the class competitions at the pep assemblies.
You and your friends will be known by most other students and, if not by name, definitely by supremacy.
It's a year full of spirited basketball games, long-lasting friendships and hard-core study for Advanced Placement English and physics classes.
It's the time when memories are built to last forever, the ones your peers and mentors will remember you by.
It's a time of constant happiness and focus. No one can stand in your way. You're a senior. You've got all the power.
It's a release from the reins: You now have the privilege to go to Subway and McDonald's for lunch every single day of the week.
It's when you attain the right to a seat on the senior bench with your name on it.
It's the season to show that wide smile because, mentally, you know you're a senior, and only one word can express the way for you to be treated: respect.
It's a year to show the underclassmen who you are, who you have become and how you've grown. You're the leader of the high school pack, the example set forth to all underclassmen and the one to leave a legacy behind.
It's when parents comment on the fact that you'll be leaving next year, to go on to bigger and better things.
It's when your friends and family see an all-glowing smile upon your face, understanding your young and restless heart searching for more beyond adolescence.
It is time to take the future seriously and not forget the responsibilities brought on by age and freedom.
It's the time to start the closing chapter in your high school career. Life is full of growing, developing and learning to make each future moment better than the one before.
This year can be whatever you want it to be, in any way, shape or form. Make it the best yet and don't leave anything out on the field. Have fun, work hard and, at the very least, have no regrets.
Shamra Bauder is a senior at Kenai Central High School who has worked as an intern at the Clarion.
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