Senior year like learning to ride a bike, once you get the hang of it


Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Finally, I am a senior! My excitement and focal point for the year is graduation. I know there will be a lot happening in the interim, but it really isn’t that far away. I am counting down the months, the weeks, and days to the time I will walk up on the stage, receive my diploma, turn my tassel, throw my hat up into the air and say goodbye to the school where I have spent the majority of my waking moments.

Just because I’m a senior doesn’t mean I have easy days with nothing to worry about except what color my graduation gown will be, how many announcements I will need to order or how many roses I will pass out on that special day. This year so far has already been stressful with scholarship essays to write, transcripts to send, letters of recommendation to collect, SATs to take, sports, maintaining grades, responsibilities of clubs and offices and much more.

Often I think to myself how much I won’t miss this place when in reality, no matter where I go or what I do, I will miss my hometown and the people I grew up with. I’ve heard it from friends who have graduated. They couldn’t wait to leave but say it feels great to come back and see parents and friends and the old school hangouts.

I live in a small community of 1,000 and have gone to this school since I began my formal schooling. My graduating class numbers 11. Some of us have been together since preschool, while others have joined us along the way. Having such a small class enables us to form close bonds with one another.

I reflect back upon my graduation from kindergarten. My family members sat in the very front row, smiling and taking pictures, candy and flowers in hand for after the ceremony. I remember it in such detail, what I wore, my long hair in curls, and covering my face with my hands from shyness and embarrassment but underneath it all, a great feeling of excitement and exhilaration. Graduating from kindergarten and graduating from high school really aren’t that different. Each graduation finds me leaving one world and entering an entirely new one.

I’m ready to face the real world, show them what I have to offer. I thought I had everything planned out when I was a sophomore, and it’s amazing how much plans can change in just one year. It’s astounding how mature you can become over the course of a summer and realize things that you would have ignored during the previous year which now seems so far away. I guess when my parents tell me they still feel young and don’t know where the time went, I understand what they mean. Time passes so quickly and in the blink of an eye, things can change.

My mother is always telling me to stop being in such a hurry to get out of here and to make the best of my senior year. Some aren’t ready to go out on their own, face challenges without their parents constant guidance, make new friends, and go to a totally different environment. Sooner or later though, everyone has to go through it — it’s a learning process and a life requirement.

Do you remember when you learned to ride a bike, how frustrating and difficult it was — falling again and again and crying because of your scraped and bloody knees, not seeming like fun but you just couldn’t stop? Once you mastered it, however, you felt like you owned the world and you could conquer anything.

I look at graduating and life after graduation that way too. It can be stressful, difficult and often a scary process, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel invincible.

Krista Leman is a senior at Ninilchik School.

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