Contrary to popular predictions, the film, “Senior Year” doesn't begin with 18-year-olds entering their last year of high school, but with 5-year-olds entering their first year of elementary school. Split into three chapters, the movie shows the development of children born in 2001 growing up altogether in Wilton, Conn.
The first chapter entitled “Elementary School” begins with-5 year-olds in Miller-Driscoll learning basic skills needed in society. The children draw to learn about art, use their small hands to count to 10, and scribble 26 symbols that they learn are ingredients to words and communication. These children rapidly grow and their perspective of the world broadens. Suddenly, the world is huge and the possibilities are endless! They are full of genuine love, enthusiasm, and innocence which evoke happiness and nostalgia in the audience — me. I look back at the abundance of energy, openness, and love that also connected me and my classmates and am inspired by that warm feeling.
The second chapter, Middle School, was difficult to watch.
Suddenly the cute children are acne ridden, sad, and annoying 12-year-olds whose moods change within seconds. The preteens separate themselves from each other because of insecurities. Anxiety about their life, identity, and future overwhelm them, which leads to distractions to cope with that stress. Some examples of distractions shown in the film are sports, boy bands, and gaming. I had to restrain myself from skipping through these three years because it brought back unwanted memories: Like the time I didn’t do Spanish homework the entire year and turned in a two-foot stack of worksheets on the last day of school to get credit. The time I went to a 5SOS concert wearing American Apparel underwear over my black skinny jeans to show my support for their hit single, “She Looks So Perfect.” The time I thought I was exceptional because I watched sophisticated movies by the unpopular, unknown, and small directors, Christopher Nolan and Wes Anderson. Not exactly my proudest moments...
The last chapter of the film — High School — I actually haven’t finished this part of the movie. I only have a few months left to watch and am really curious how it will end. But from what I’ve watched, this is my favorite chapter. From freshman year to senior year, there is so much change within the children born in 2001; they are teenagers going on to adulthood. Every part was blissful to watch. The excited-yet-scared demeanors of the awkward freshmen proved to be the funniest part of the entire movie. How nervous all the freshmen are to walk through the senior area, the Jungle, to reach their safe haven, the library. How cool the seniors are because they can drive and all look 30 years old. Sophomore year was a nostalgic and peaceful part to watch; the new experiences, newfound confidence, new friends introduced in the movie reminded me of how thankful I am for this year in my life. Junior year was an unfortunate part of the finale because the now confident, driven, and matured teenagers enter the college process; although, they all surpass this challenging time and share a huge feeling of relief. These scenes entertained me with the stressful expressions on every student and the exhausted guidance counselors.
Lastly, the finale and part I haven’t finished: Senior Year.
The scenes I have watched have been brilliant and unforgettable — the mixed emotions of finishing school, the amazing friends, the love and excitement of every student in this class. The class bonding is the best part of this movie. The senior show plot created friendships and hilarious experiences that positively changed the dynamic of the grade. The new tradition by the Class of 2019, Nerf Gun Assassins, made the movie so entertaining; the 18-year-olds interacting with classmates they haven’t been with since kindergarten because of this game bonded the entire class. The shared love and happiness for everyone announcing their college and future decisions spreads togetherness.
I really do love this movie and will rewatch it multiple times. The children born in 2001 were so full of love at 5, then drastically drifted apart at 12, but eventually returned to their place of love and warmth again. I could not be more excited to see how this film concludes and how each classmate in the Class of 2019 navigates his/her life in adulthood. But that’s another movie that hasn’t even begun, so I’ll just continue watching and appreciating this movie.
Teena Moya is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.