Senior Farewell – Janelle Powell

RSU 21

If you asked freshman me to describe what she thought current me, a graduating senior, would be like, I really don’t know how much I would’ve gotten right. I think a great way to describe my high school experience is “unexpected.”

As a freshman, I viewed high school as a lot of work, and something that would pass by slowly. I looked up to the seniors in my advisory with a sort of awe, as for me, they epitomized what a true high school experience was. As they talked about plans for the homecoming parade and basketball games, their senior experience, which I thought would mirror my own, seemed ages away. Before I knew it, we were stuck at home, and my daily social interaction consisted of lunchtime walks with my family and Google meets with part of my math class. While I knew that this wasn’t a true high school experience, I was left confused as to what one might actually look like.

Sophomore year felt like it flew by. I didn’t look up to upperclassmen nearly as much anymore, as my only interaction with them was watching them BS their way through APUSH or somehow scratch up decent math team scores despite a general lack of preparation. I consistently looked forward to some sense of human interaction and was always excited to go to school twice a week. Sophomore year is where I discovered that I wanted to make math a part of my life (my friends and teachers might argue that I was the last to realize). I remember at the end of sophomore year, sitting as a tennis team as the juniors talked about how excited and nervous they were to start college applications, but how sad they would be to leave. I remember breathing a sigh of relief because I wasn’t ready to leave yet. I pushed the thought back in my mind as something to worry about later…

I think it must be true that you perceive time as passing faster the older you get. Junior year was my most stressful year, my favorite year, and the one that passed by me in an instant. Restrictions began to be lifted and I started my role as a teacher’s assistant, one of the most rewarding things that I had the opportunity to participate in throughout high school. The relationships I had developed with my friends only deepened, even as the AP Chem homework piled on. I had my first prom, and got to see the majority of my teammates, and some of my TA students graduate. I got to finish off the year with a team state tennis title and sportsmanship award. As the year came to a close, I remained in denial as to how soon the end was.

Senior year has consistently left me in shock as to how far we’ve all come. It really doesn’t feel right that we’re graduating this Sunday. I don’t feel old enough or experienced enough to step in the footsteps of the seniors in my advisory freshman year. I wonder what it would be like if we could see those seniors now. I wonder if I would see them as equals, or still feel like they’re somehow more mature than we are. I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished a lot in high school, including keeping and creating long-lasting friendships that will really be the highlight of my high school career. I hope that the freshmen now might look up to us the same way that I looked up to those seniors four years ago in advisory. Though it may have been strange, the class of 2023 KHS experience surely was memorable, and my experiences and relationships here will have a great impact on me for the rest of my life.