By Terrell Atkins
“I thought they were just kidding when they said high school would go by fast,” Ally Thompson texted me once I got home from the Senior Luau Swim Party. It was the eve of our first day of senior year for the Class of 2022 at Amory High School, and to say I had mixed feelings would be an understatement.
Senior Year starts the beginning of the end for all of us. The last first day, the last football season, the last Homecoming Week, the last year we’d have to hear our teachers tell us to pay attention when we’re not fully awake yet at 7 o’ clock in the morning.
As I sat in my room and pondered the thought of Senior Year (and how it really did arrive so fast), I realized that I had no idea what I was going to do after high school. Sure I had the same plan for my life as I did when I was in 5th grade of what my dream life would be like once I grew up, but I also had no clue what I’d do to get there. I began to think about how graduation was exactly nine months away, and I had no plans whatsoever on what I’d do after I’d walked the field.
Then I realized, I also thought the same thing whenever I was leaving middle school. That I wasn’t prepared for that next step, that I had no idea what I was doing, and I wasn’t going to live up to the (very) high standards that I had for myself. However, I then realized how much I’ve changed since freshman year. I became a lot more self-aware of the world around me and had a more clear view of what I wanted for myself and my future. I became more familiar with what I believed in and morals. I gained confidence within myself and became more outgoing, earning more friends and family along the way. I joined many extracurriculars that I thought I’d never have the courage to join where I had indescribable experiences. I made mistakes along the four years of high school, and learned lessons that made me the person I am today.
And that’s when it hit me. That maybe having no idea what you’re doing is completely normal. In fact, it may be a little odd to know exactly what you’re doing because, honestly, who does? Just like when we were transitioning from 8th graders to freshman, and from freshman to seniors, we all evolve over time in ways that we might not even realize yet. Now is the time that we figure out what we want, who we are, and what we want to be. Now is the time to make mistakes that we’ll definitely regret later, but tell stories and laugh about later in life. Now is the time to have those conversations about what we’re passionate about, and what decisions we want to make moving forward. Now is your time to live in the moment and enjoy every single second this last year has to offer because you only get one. You get that one year where you live all the lasts of being a high school student. That last year where you can take the last few steps left before starting on your next path. After all, isn’t that what they’ve been telling us high school is for; to prepare us for the future?