Thoughts on the last days

“Pom-poms, polos and pick-up trucks.” That alliterative sentence fragment was how I described my first day of senior year in my first Growing Up Greenwich column in October. Now the current alliterative sentence fragment that sums up my last day of senior year is “well-wishes, white dresses, and waterworks.”

Although I have anticipated graduation day for a long time, being seven days away from closing a big chapter in my life is becoming more frightening. My nostalgia has been slowly increasing because of all the “lasts” that have occurred over the past few days.

There was the last time my advisory formally met, the last time I was assigned a coveted rotation spot in the GA parking lot, the last high school test, the last high school all nighter to study for said test, the last time I attended assembly with my 80 classmates with whom I have experienced high school for the past four years and there are more to come.

In these final days before I walk down the aisle (for graduation, of course), it’s so easy to get caught up in the countless “lasts” of life, and to let counting the “lasts” detract from saying proper good-byes. Instead of dwelling on the “lasts,” here is some advice for high school seniors:

Manage your time well. I know that people say time management is the key to success in many aspects of life, but it is especially important during these frantic final days. Even though schoolwork slows down for seniors as graduation nears, there are still a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up, which require time and dedication.

For example, one of my favorite GA graduation traditions is that the seniors write letters to underclassmen that detail why they will miss going to school with them and giving them sentiments of encouragement and words of advice. While I cherish this tradition, handwriting farewell letters is time consuming and cannot be left until the night before graduation.

Don’t forget to say thank you. There are so many people who help students navigate high school from teachers, to guidance counselors, to coaches, to parents, friends, and family. It is important to let people know how much you appreciate them before you leave a place forever.

Finally, enjoy your friends while you are all still together. As I was sitting recently in my final class meeting where we voted on a graduation speaker, I realized that even though my grade is so small, there are still new things that I learn about my classmates every day.

I know I cautioned against dwelling on “lasts,” but the saddest part of graduating is that it truly is the last day of being a student in the Class of 2014.

On the other hand, the best part of “lasts” means that there are many “firsts” yet to come, which makes living out the lasts necessary and worthwhile.

 

Maggie Carangelo is a senior at Greenwich Academy.

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