In the Blink of an Eye

Riley Preiss, Staff Writer

Junior Prom is officially behind us, and the defining event of junior year is over (aside from the five millions tests we have to take). That’s scary. For Abby Deninno, Prom was “the best part of junior year of course. No one could stop talking about it basically since the year started. It was definitely a highlight of high school for me.” For some people, Junior year has been a stressful one, full of ACTs and SATs, guidance meetings, and late nights studying for the toughest classes we’ve taken yet. Fortunately, it  has also been extremely fun. We finally weren’t underclassmen anymore, and over the past three years of high school it feels as though we’ve finally found our true friends. Camryn Kopetic summed it up pretty well saying, “The best part of junior year for me was finally feeling like an upperclassman, and establishing a true group of friends.” That being said, as we approach the end of the school year and watch as our senior friends prepare to graduate, it’s hard not to think about the crazy fact… this will be us next year. We’ve listened to the seniors talk about their college visits and the stress of applying and deciding and figuring out their majors. We’ve heard all about the insane process that is finding your college roommate (see Grace Brosnan’s article at . And we’ve liked all of their social media pictures from the Halloween parade, changing the senior banner, and senior portraits. Now we hear all about their plans for senior banquet and after graduation, as the very same process begins for us. I think a lot of us can agree with Abby who said, “I’m feeling a mixture of things, I’m really excited but I don’t know if I’m ready!” Same girl same.

For some of us, testing is over (or at least close to being over). However, others still have to take a final few in the fall…yay! I’m sure you’ve begun to feel the pressure of trying to juggle everything, learning to handle such a heavy workload on top of  everyday life is a lot to handle, but it’s definitely preparing you for life in the adult world. For the next few months summer trips, weekends, and school breaks will consist of a lot of college visits. There are so many things to consider it definitely can get overwhelming. Home or away? City or campus? Big or small? Do they have my major? Will I fit in with the other students? Is the price tag affordable? These are only a few of the questions bombarding our brains on these visits. For some people extracurriculars or activities offered at the school could be a key aspect. For students like Sydney Moore, athletics has come down to be the deciding factor. Sydney is committed to Boston College and will be playing on their Division I women’s soccer team. When asked about what this is like she said, “Um, I guess it’s exciting that I get the opportunity to continue to play the sport I love while still getting a quality education at a school that I absolutely love as well.” (In my opinion, um yes Syd that is extremely exciting…congrats!) Sydney’s insane talent and hard work has made her pre-college experience a little different than the rest of us; she’s been committed to school since tenth grade. For those of us without an ounce of athletic ability (aka me), next comes the hard part… applying. Letters of recommendation and the all-important college essays need to be started around, well, now. When asked about the whole process, junior Camryn Kopetic says it can be summed up by “overwhelming but exciting at the same time.” What’s important to remember is we are all pretty much feeling the exact same way. For the past 12 years we have had the same routines: go to school, come home, do homework, talk to your friends, maybe play a sport or attend an extracurricular… and the idea of that changing is terrifying. It feels like this idea of “the future” is coming faster and faster, but we’ll be ready.

Enough about the stressful stuff to come, the goal of this article is definitely not to make you feel totally worried. In fact, heading into senior year should be something for everyone to be excited about. Finally we will be the oldest in the school, and that generally means you can stop feeling that intense pressure to impress or fit in that you may have succumbed to as an underclassman. Senior year for sure seems like it will be the most fun year of highschool. It’s a little sad and filled with a lot of lasts: last spirit week, last homecoming, last sport seasons as Dalers, last year at school with kids you’ve known since kindergarten, and even your last year living with your family full time for some people (depending on your opinion this might not be one of the sad lasts). Instead of all of the lasts, think of all of the firsts that we get to experience as seniors: first time getting to participate in the famed Halloween parade, first time being allowed to leave the school for off-periods (the real reason we’ve wanted to be seniors since starting high school freshman year let’s be real), and for the first time our grade will  have the most say in the events of the school. When asked if “it’s about time” we are seniors Camryn and various others came to the conclusion that “yeah I think we’re ready to finally do our own thing and care less about what everyone else is thinking.” Personally, I think one of the most special things about senior year at Farmingdale High School is all of the traditions we finally get to participate in. As a freshman I remember seeing all of the seniors in their class shirts going to the field to take senior pictures and wondering what mine would look like one day, or what I would be for Halloween. We all laughed at the intense spirit some seniors come to school with for spirit week or the enthusiasm in the senior stands during pep rally. We have always watched the much-anticipated senior Homecoming court announced and given our opinions on who really should have won for senior superlatives. It’s finally our turn to be a part of that.. Almost like a right of passage. When asked about the event most excited for, the Junior class has seemed to come to a consensus. It’s senior banquet. This is kind of a no-brainer, since it’s the last big event of high school, and it’s our last chance to get dressed up and enjoy a stress free night with our grade. Other than graduation the following day, this might be the last time you see a lot of these people for a while.

By the end of senior year I’m optimistic that our class will be as close as possible. The cliques and friend groups will hopefully be less important because as the clock starts to tick and our time at Farmingdale is coming to an end, we all share the experience of high school here in common. Every single one of us had to put up with the crazy tests, (at times questionable) cafeteria food,  our favorite teachers (and yes our less-than-favorite teachers too), the freshman panic that you’re going to be lost, the junior year pressures of learning how to drive, and so much more. Camryn agreed, “Becoming a senior bonds the grade more than ever (not only through entitlement) but by making every last moment together count.” When we graduate we will all remember the commons, the stands at football games, and even the fire drills. So if you haven’t talked to someone yet that you’ve literally had a class with since freshman year, suck it up and talk to them. What could possibly hold you back and when will you ever get that chance again if not now? You’d be surprised by the new friends you could make in senior year, afterall in a grade of 400 and something kids, there is no way that you’ve spoken to everyone. We’re getting to that time where everyone is saying “ugh I’m so ready for college, I’m so ready to meet new people, blah blah, blah,” but don’t wish away senior year. If you talk to any adult they all say the same thing, some of the best memories and friends of your life are being made right now. When it comes down to it, senior year is only as good as what the seniors themselves make it… when we count down on the last day of school in the commons I hope that we can all say high school was more than the drama and stress that movies always make it out to be, that it was a really positive experience for everyone. Juniors, we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that being said, let’s make sure when senior year hits you aren’t blinded by all of the stress and craziness that comes along with planning the future and remember to make the most of your last few months as a Daler. Ask any senior graduating this month and they’ll tell you, in the blink of an eye you’re trying on your graduation gown.