Today I'm going to share five weird things about being a senior that I've noticed over the last few months.
1. There is no class above you.
My entire high school career, there's always been a class above me. When I first entered high school, the seniors seemed so big and intimidating. I would never dare to approach them. Over time, the seniors became more human and closer to my age. I began to see them as friends or peers instead of as much older leaders. But they were always there. The seniors were always above me, always setting the standard for the year, always looking like they were having a good time.
Now it's us. My class. We're the seniors. There is no one above us. Everyone is younger. It's the weirdest feeling in the world- especially in the first few weeks of the school year- to realize that there is no one in the high school who is a grade older than me.
Another weird thought is the fact that my little sister (who has always seemed "little" in my eyes) is in high school this year too. So. Weird.
2. The freshmen seem weirdly immature.
Now I don't mean this as a put down for any freshman out there who is reading this blog. Not all freshmen are immature, but you will mature a whole lot between your freshman and senior years of high school.
When I watch the ninth-graders giggling and talking in the halls, they seem so young. That doesn't make any sense. I was there only a few years ago. That was me. Surely I was never that immature. Surely I was never that absorbed in boys and gossip and silliness. Surely my insecurities were never plastered so obviously on my face. ...Okay, yeah, I probably was that immature. Here, I'll share a picture of myself as a freshman so you can decide for yourself.
I was talking to one of my friends last summer and I said something like, "I feel like I was a freshman just a few months ago, but I feel like I was fourteen years and years ago." I have changed so much since that time in my life. I've gained a lot more confidence than I had back then. I'm starting to finally catch glimpses of who I am and who God has made me to be. When I was a freshman, I was incredibly insecure. Freshman year was my favorite year of high school, other than this senior year, and I had a blast through most of that time in my life, but it does seem far away now, like I'm remembering things about somebody else, not me.
I have trouble relating to the vast majority of the freshman girls who attend my high school. Many of them do seem very immature and insecure. (It probably doesn't help that my little sister and her friends are all freshmen.) I think they're very sweet, but we're in different walks of life. And I'm not used to that feeling.
3. Adults get incredibly sentimental when they see you.
This doesn't apply to all adults, but it happens quite frequently. Here's what happens on a weekly basis in my life.
I'm walking through a store with my mom and someone who I don't recognize walks by and sees my mom. They talk for a few moments... and then the woman's eyes fall on me. "Who is this?" she asks in an awed voice. "This can't be Emily. Wow. I cannot believe it."
I smile and nod. "Yes, it's me. It's Emily." Who else would it be?
"My, my, my. You make me feel so old. You've changed so much since I saw you last. The last time I saw you, you were this big." And the woman holds her palm about a foot over the ground.
I laugh politely. Does she not realize that fifteen years have passed since she saw me last? Did she think I would stay a toddler forever?
"Emily's going to graduate from high school this year," my mom usually interjects proudly and the woman usually gasps. Her eyes fill up with sentimental tears and she pats my hand.
"My son graduated last year. You are going to have the time of your life in college. Now what do you want to do?"
"I want to be a writer."
Silence. Then, "Ohhh, how nice" in a forced, excited tone. And the questions follow for a few more minutes.
I know this was written in a fairly sarcastic tone, but I honestly don't mind. The adults who get sentimental over my increasing age are very sweet and thoughtful. These situations are very frequent and a bit embarrassing. It never happened this often before. Church, restaurants while I'm eating with my family, and grocery stores are where this happens the most.
4. Parents planning to do things to your bedroom.
On TV sitcoms, you often see parents planning to turn a kid's room into a bowling alley or something crazy after he leaves for college. I never thought that would actually happen. I mean, some of my friends have older siblings who have moved out and their parents haven't done anything to their bedrooms.
It's been the weirdest thing this year to hear my family bartering over the use of my bedroom. Yes, my bedroom is the biggest of all the bedrooms in the house, probably because it was never meant to be a bedroom. It's actually the upstairs of one section of our house above the garage, so it's pretty big. It's also separated from most of the house, so it's private and quiet and relaxing.
My dad wants to move up some workout equipment and a TV and turn my bedroom into a little gym. My mom wants to move up some card tables and turn my bedroom into a scrapbooking room. My little sister is dying to move into my bedroom after I leave, but luckily, that won't be happening for a few years at least. My little brother wouldn't mind turning my bedroom into a game room or an arcade of some sort.
Isn't it wonderful to know that your family is already planning for your absence? It's the weirdest feeling in the world to me. Of course, I'll be coming back to stay a lot, especially while I'm in college, but the knowledge that my room won't really be my room anymore is kind of sad... and scary.
5. You're what you considered to be old when you were a little kid.
I used to be an avid fan of Barney. You know, that purple dinosaur who loved to sing? I remember watching those old shows where he would dance around with a bunch of kids dressed in gaudy nineties outfits, and I remembered thinking those kids were so old. In reality, the oldest ones were maybe ten.
When I got a little older, I became a huge fan of Drake and Josh. You might remember that Nickelodeon show about the two step brothers. I loved that show. But Drake and Josh seemed so old to my eyes. In my wildest dreams, I could never imagine being that age.
Eighteen. Eighteen. Hey, even when I was fifteen, I thought eighteen-year-olds were incredibly old. I never thought I would reach this age. It seemed unreachable, reserved for big kids only.
I mentor a second-grader as part of my Bible class. Once she asked me, "How old are you?"
"Eighteen," I replied.
The girl's eyes grew wide with shock. "Are your mommy and daddy still alive?" she asked in a slightly awed voice.
What? Eighteen isn't actually old at all. I still feel quite young and vulnerable most of the time. Little kids don't understand that when I try to explain it to them. I used to think people who were my age were very old. Now I'm there. I am what little kids think is incredibly intimidating and old... in an entirely different way than they see forty-year-old parents as old.
Being what I used to think was old is a weird thought.
Here are your questions:
1. If you're in high school, are you experiencing any of these things yet? Any others I've forgotten?
2. If you're out of high school, what was the strangest thing to you about being a senior?