Teen's Eye View
By Grace Timan
Senior year is the year of freedom, all of the stress of high school is over, and we can finally take it easy and relax. This is what we’ve been told since freshman year, always looking forward to this year of “fun,” and yet here we are as seniors, and the anxiety is more apparent than ever, and submitting our college apps was only the first step in a long and extensive journey.
Looking into the future is confusing. In a year’s time, I have no idea what life will look like; all I know is that it won’t look the same. For the majority of my life, I knew what came next, a set of expectations I’ve had since childhood of what my life would look like through the years. As a senior, I have realized that I have no real way of knowing as much as I can try to picture myself next year until decisions are laid down. As seniors, we spend months in this limbo period of sorts, not applying to colleges anymore but not knowing which one we will attend.
I have spent my entire education at the same school, K-12. Not only have I always attended the same school, but many of the people around me I have grown up with as well. We are used to one another, as comfortable in each other’s company as a family. We may fight like siblings, but we love each other with that same unconditional care. It’s difficult to think that this is my last few months around the people I grew up with; while we will see each other again, we won’t see each other in the same way.
For these final, approaching months of senior year, we are encouraged by those around us to “live in the moment” and not waste this last bit of time together. Living in the moment is easier said than done. It’s hard to appreciate each day when in the back of my mind is asking what my future will be like. At times it can feel as if this anxiety clouds my vision. One of my biggest fears regarding these final months of my senior year is wasting important time.
Sitting in the classroom as a senior is flinching every time someone hears their email chime. Whenever I get a college-related decision back during class, it’s an internal dilemma of whether I should open it right then and there. It’s hard not to let college decisions affect my self-worth. Since I was 14, I have taken the idea of college very seriously, trying to learn everything I could about the college admissions process. I tried to accumulate the perfect profile to submit to all my top choice schools. Through high school, I tried to become the perfect applicant. When I started to submit applications, I learned that the things worth submitting as extracurriculars are things I truly am passionate about.
At the end of high school, I found that seniors spend a lot of time worrying about things out of their control. As college decisions slowly roll out, I’ve come to understand and accept that it is out of my hands, and there is no point worrying about what might or might not be. Looking back through each year, I’ve found that the things that show my merit were not the things I did from the anxiety of college decisions, but instead, the things I did for myself. The biggest advice I can offer underclassmen is to worry less about what a college may want from you and instead focus on figuring out what exactly you want to do with your time in high school. Parents and teachers trying to help seniors in their final days may stop reminding us how limited our time is and instead encourage us to use it to its fullest potential.
Grace Timan attends Mount Madonna School in Watsonville. She’s been going to Mount Madonna since she was 2 years old and will be graduating this year. She loves the beach, journaling, and yoga. She’s very excited to be attending UCLA in the fall and majoring in pre-public affairs.