IT’S GODDAMN HAPPENING.
BUT I FEEL NOTHING INSIDE.
The beginning of my senior year of high school, my last year as a member of the public schooling system. The year I experience many “lasts” and become an adult, all to be capped off by the moment everyone under 18 looks forward to: graduation. I expected the beginning of the year to feel like the beginning of an expedition into adulthood, the final frontier of this hellish landscape of underfunded education, and I wanted to feel good about it.
In reality, I don’t really feel much different at all. I feel as if nothing around me has changed. I’m still at my small, rural New Hampshire school with less than 400 kids, and I’m still surrounded by mostly the same people, except everyone from the grades above me during my freshman year have been replaced. I am stuck in a state of solidarity with my grade. But soon, I will be leaving even them as we will go our separate ways. Some may go straight into working while others may go to the military, but I will take the road mostly traveled: college.
Let me just say that even in the infancy of this year, the college application process is unbelievably intimidating. Now despite me seemingly fitting the stereotype of the student with high GPA in AP classes, I do not have the family background most kids on said stereotype have. Most kids in my high school who have taken similar classes come from a high-middle class background with educated parents that make it so paying for college is not an issue.
Yeah, I’m not quite so lucky. Neither of my parents attended college, and none of my four older siblings have college degrees (which may change soon as my only brother is in his senior year, but one of my sisters dropped out then so you never know what could happen.) My family is also in the lower-middle class area of society. So while we survive with not too much discomfort, the idea of paying for college leads to many a stressed brow.
My parents are also… lax, lets say, when it comes to education and applications. They tend to not care what classes I take or where I try to apply, and when they do try to help me with application stuff I figure out I’m better off doing most of it by myself. Which hen you’re easily stressed like I am, it can get slightly overwhelming. I have to do mostly everything, going even as far as having to force my father to do his taxes from the past few years to get any chance of financial aid. (Every year he doesnt do his taxes. The fines turn whatever glimpses of the middle we see into the lower middle class life we have.)
Anyway, back to senior year itself. Am I excited? Ehhhhh somewhat. If any word can really describe how I feel it’s probably “scared.” I’m honestly somewhat frightened by the idea of leaving high school and doing what might be the last time I do a lot of what have defined my life. My last student council meeting will be held. Likely my last concert band performance ever (Which my band will be screwed as they are losing literally their only mallet percussionist in me). The curtain will close on the last high school musical I participate in. I will not get to annoy the kids in my band class by playing “Existentialism on Prom Night” literally ever day any more. I won’t have any more school danc… actually that one doesn’t bother me.
Maybe I shouldn’t look at this year in a series of “lasts.” Maybe I should look at the firsts that both definitely and possibly will happen. I’m auditioning for the NH All State band for the first time, and maybe I will get in. Maybe I will get a major lead for the first time in my school’s musical. Maybe I will learn more about myself than I ever have. Who knows? All I know is I will do my best to enjoy every moment of this year.
Even in AP English.
Where we are focusing on feminist literature.