Having been a senior in high school for over a month now, I am caught between simultaneously still feeling like a sophomore and already feeling 85. (I’m an extremely old soul who would be very happy to have a house full of kittens and those odd thingamabobs grandperson-age people keep around.)
Senior year is supposed to be the best year of high school, but it’s scary because it’s full of so many lasts. This is my last year of mandatory education, my last year of living at home with my mother, my last year, perhaps, of living full-time with my cat of a dog. I’ve had my last first day of school, and each passing day is the last of a routine I’ve performed for the last fifteen years.
I think the most startling notion is the one that I might not ever live in California again, that I may end up living thousands of miles away from people from whom my definition of far away is having to drive a half hour to get to where they are.
At the same time, though, that’s assuming a lot. In a way, it feels like I’ve been putting off “growing up” year after year. I’m an awful cook (I make a mean cookie. And I mean a mean cookie. The kind that knocks your teeth out), half the time I put too much soap in the laundry, and I like chocolate too much. My room is perpetually messy, I’m still only on my driving permit, and I think I still wear the same clothing that I did when I was thirteen. It seems like each previous year’s seniors always had everything put together, lived independently of their parents, and were completely ready to go off to college by the time they were juniors. And for some reason, that’s just not true of my class.
I don’t think most of us know what we want to do in the future, where we want to work, or where we want to live. Every year before senior year has always been looking towards college. And now, all of a sudden, we’re looking past it.
I’m applying to colleges now, the names of which I will not here be disclosing. In March or May and hopefully at least by June, I’ll be telling all of you which university I will be attending from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2021, where I’ll be deciding what career path I want to take for at least the few years after I graduate from college or graduate school.
Many successful women have gone into college not knowing what they wanted to do, and some have even come out of it with the same degree of confusion. Four years went fast, and they’ll go by all-too-quickly again. And I have to understand that not knowing what I want to do for the rest of my life today, tomorrow, and in the spring of 2021 will not change what I might become.