Warrior Words: A year of ‘lasts’

Karen Morneau Photography graces the headshots of some of my closest friends, and I do not know what to do with myself. The dwindling summer, and the incoming tidal wave of senior year has most, if not all of my classmates, myself included, at wits end. Any one rising senior inquired about next year will respond with something along the lines of — “I know, it’s crazy. I can’t believe we are seniors!” It’s interesting how, after 12 long years in Wilton Public Schools, no student (or parent) can say with 100% certainty that — yes, I (my son or daughter) am (is) a senior!

As a freshman, I could not believe that seniors and I attended the same school, let alone belonged to the same species. Such a large gap exists between the freshman and senior class, and I believe most of us are startled as freshmen into believing that we could never possibly look that old. And yet, here we are. It has come to be that time where the boys I have known since kindergarten may start sporting facial hair. Yikes. I guess that is why we cannot believe it’s senior year. That someone like myself, a generous 5 foot 2 inches, has almost reached the last leg of my high school career really is quite unimaginable.

This afternoon, senior year hit me with a vital punch when I received an email from Don Schels, to the rest of my 300-plus classmates, that we would be choosing our lockers Aug. 25. This was a physical manifestation of that metaphorical tidal wave I mentioned earlier. Just another one of the horrible, stressful, anticipated, and exciting traditions of senior year.

Just as August was ending I received my schedule for the upcoming school year. One more affirmation that summer is really coming to an end. Soon I would hear the buzz of bus routes practiced on my road, the sound that truly marks the end of vacation, and I have had to prepare myself for early morning traffic on Route 7. This year my Volvo and I will have to travel an extra half-mile or so to the senior lot. I thank the heavens above for this change in location, as I will finally have a parking space to call mine when I arrive to school at 8:17 sharp, three minutes before the official start of the school day. No more early mornings to compete for the closest space.

Right now I have a lot on my mind. This year will be a year of “lasts,” which I hope ends up bringing out the best in all of the class of 2017. I think we are all a little scared of senior year due to the perception that it is this big ending, a finale of sorts — which it is — but it is also marks a huge beginning for us. As we encroach on the dreaded college process, I encourage seniors and their families to watch the movie Orange County, starring Colin Hanks and Jack Black. A horribly relatable satire of the college application process, it confirmed in me that wherever we end up at the end of this year, it is going to be OK. As I prepare for my year of “lasts,” I look forward to the special traditions that make Wilton a great place for navigating the stressful and confusing years of adolescence. Locker choosing, the “slot,” football games, the senior show, sitting in the jungle during free periods, and showing up to school to see your friends in the same state of anxiety, truly bind us all together. So, in anticipation of the unthinkable senior year, I prepare myself for heartwarming traditions, a lot of endings, and a great beginning.

Lynn Huffard is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.