Towards the end of the year, an underground campaign spreads through the senior hallway. No, it’s not a plot to build a swimming pool on the fourth floor or install an obscure modern art exhibition in the New Wing: it’s voting for senior superlatives. While they’re admittedly goofy and materialistic, all of us secretly want to win one so as to say, “I was here and I was noticed.” In choosing which superlative to run for, I didn’t opt for a flashy, impressive title. Instead, I campaigned for — and ultimately won —Most Huggable, because that’s how I want to be remembered: not as a gorgeous goddess or perfect brainiac, but rather as a friendly, approachable person who touched the lives of others both physically and metaphorically.
As I cheese for the camera like a dork with a big “Free Hugs” sign shaded in crayon, I think back to my days as a freshman when I would have a meltdown if I got anything below a B in humanities and daydreamed constantly about moving away and meeting different people. I wasn’t a loner, but I prioritized academics over everything and didn’t make much of an effort to socialize with others. I felt as if I didn’t belong. My lunches and study halls were spent with my kind English teacher, and on weekends, I’d pass my hours reading instead of going out to do something fun. My world was the four corners of my textbooks and novels, my mind various portraits of collegiate futures.