Senior Year: Unfiltered


Julianna Colado, Co-Sports Editor

Woah, this is really happening. I’ve arrived to the moment of my life where I’m officially eligible to write the Senior Column of the Clarion Newspaper. 

Okay, it may not be as big of a deal as I’m making it sound.. BUT IT IS. I remember being a freshman and reading my sister’s senior column story in the school newspaper and thinking, “I wonder if I will ever write one of those stories..,” and here I am currently reminiscing on my entire high school experience to somewhat construct it into an essay. I’ve learned there is nothing better to hear than an honest and unfiltered high school experience story, so here is mine:

High school may not be how it is portrayed in movies like “The Kissing Booth” or “Mean Girls,” but it has definitely been a roller coaster with unexpected drops, butterflies in my stomach, moments where you regret getting on, and moments where you look back at yourself from two minutes ago and laugh. 

As an incoming freshmen, high school seemed like it would never end. I was nervous. I was excited. I was definitely intimidated. I was everything I’m sure any other freshman was and felt in her first year of high school. 

I look back at my high school years and I smile. I smile because the amount of realization you gain from four years of teenage life is unbelievingly tremendous. I smile because the littlest things like my outfits freshmen, sophomore, (and even junior) years make me cringe. I smile because I now believe the cliche piece of advice that everyone gives you when they say “time flies.” 

Coming into my senior year, it is obvious that this year’s circumstances with the pandemic caught us all off guard. I remember wishing I could skip to the day I graduate because school online, if not SENIOR YEAR online, doesn’t sound like the “best year of your life” as so many have explained it to be. 

Surprisingly, I write this essay and I feel closure within myself. I feel the satisfaction that I really took the most out of high school, at least the three years that were in store for us seniors. Reflecting back, I was involved, I was a student-athlete, I went to football games and school dances, I’ve had a group of great friends to make high school an easier experience with, and I am now graduating top 10 of my senior class. This sounds like a pretty darn good high school experience. Yet, when I describe why I smile when I look back, it’s not because I was involved in so many extracurriculars or because I got an A in that hard class. I smile because of the car ride to the football game blasting music and singing our want-to-be broken hearts out. I smile because of the countless karaoke nights I spent with my best friends knowing we were probably going to get in trouble for being too loud. I smile because of missions we would bust during our 30 minute lunch knowing darn well we did not have enough time to go buy food anywhere outside of Selma but we still did because we felt like we could conquer the world when we first got our drivers licenses. I smile because of the days we played dare or dare during the bus ride to our swim meets. 

The list can go on and on but in the end, anyone can be involved, go to football games, or attend school dances. I’ve done all of these and more, and can sit back and tell anyone going through the same rollercoaster as us seniors, and those before us, have gone through and say that highschool is what you make out of it. In all honesty, there will always be moments where you feel you need a break or a simple moment to cry and let yourself feel. I had several of these. But what is life if not imperfect? 

There are so many things I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to make high school a bit easier, but when I write this story and rethink all of my decisions to this point, I’m happy I made every mistake on my own without someone to be my personal guard protecting me from all of life’s downhills. I say this because so many memories from high school that I cherish today, almost most of the time, resulted from a bad or unexpected situation. It sounds weird or confusing to hear this, but it is the truth, at least my truth. 

As you reach the end of my senior column on the Clarion Newspaper (online edition hehe), I feel satisfied with the undesirable ending this year’s pandemic has brought to all seniors and I because it does not change or undermine all the moments I shared and memories that bring me happiness from the three ordinary years I was lucky enough to experience of high school.