Why Don’t I Feel Different?

Why Don’t I Feel Different?

Reese Levine, Editor-in-Chief

Here it is. After fifteen years of preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school, I am now a second semester senior. I have reached the holy grail of every student in America; college applications are done and there is time to relax and enjoy the last few months of my childhood. So why don’t I feel different?

All my teachers still give homework, my alarm clock still rings at 5:56 every morning, and translating Latin remains as hard as ever. Outwardly, nothing seems to have changed. It is as if I have been dragging myself slowly through the years to get to this point, only to realize that the grass really isn’t greener on the other side.

That’s not entirely true, though. Maybe I hit the snooze button one extra time, use websites to help me translate a little more than usual, and don’t do quite as thorough a job on my homework. Checking social media seems more important than it used to, and going to bed earlier sounds a lot nicer than finishing that last physics problem. Individually, all these little things don’t make me feel much different, but together they must be having some sort of effect. I guess it just hasn’t hit me yet. Once I get into college and decide where I will spend the next four years of my life, perhaps I’ll begin to feel different.

Looking at it objectively, being a second semester senior is definitely a big change. In a few short months, I will say a bittersweet goodbye to everything I have ever known, turning my head towards new opportunities and challenges. On breaks from college I’ll return and meet up with old friends and revisit old hang spots, but slowly I will begin to associate myself more with where I’m going than where I’ve been. It’s sad to think about these things, but for me at least the sadness is overwhelmed by the excitement of what awaits.

Life is just a series of goodbyes. Some of them are good, like saying goodbye to diapers and having to walk in lines from place to place, while others are bad, like saying goodbye to a departed pet or a friend moving away. Some are big, like saying goodbye to middle school, and some are small, like saying goodbye to the math homework from last night while turning it in. In the end though, the premise is always the same.

That’s what being a second semester senior is. It’s a chance to say goodbye, to engage in the old rituals for the last few times, to enjoy the final remnants of childhood. It is just a continuation of a process that I’ve been engaging in since I was born, of saying goodbye to the things which will no longer play a part in my life.

I don’t feel different because I’m not any different. I’ll always be the same kid who broke his arm by tripping over home plate in first grade, or who had to close his closet doors every night before going to sleep, just in case. I’m a second semester senior now, but that doesn’t change who I am.

Tomorrow morning, my alarm clock will ring at 5:56 a.m. and I will say goodbye to the warm comfort of my bed for the day. My morning routine remains the same as it has for the past three years, and I’m fine with that. I will enjoy these last few months of high school as a second semester senior because soon everything will change, and the last thing I want is to forget myself in the upheaval. So why don’t I feel different? Well, because there’s no need to.