Excited, with a few fears

Noa Yadidi

As junior year comes to a close, the highs and lows of senior year loom in the distance.

Top four things I’m looking forward to most about senior year:

1. Classes: For the first time in six years, I will have the opportunity, flexibility and space in my schedule to fill it with classes I actually want to take. It is the first time I’m excited for every single class and have gotten to choose each one. I get to take Molecular Gastronomy, Cinema Studies, U.S. Government, Middle East Studies, an Advanced Seminar in Math – interesting classes, some unique to our school, and not generic run-of-the-mill, required ones.

2. Traditions: Ring Ceremony, Prom, bad pranks and Graduation. These are events we’ve been anticipating since first stepping onto the middle school campus. We’ve ordered our rings, we girls have already begun browsing for appropriate ring ceremony dresses, some of us have gotten a taste of what prom might be like, and although we’ve promised to each other that our prank “will actually be a good one” – let’s be honest, it probably won’t. It’s finally our turn to participate in the traditions of the senior class.

3. Senior privileges: Both a blessing and curse (as a result of high accident rates) is that I will now park in the senior lot. Instead of having to make the 10-minute trek from the Upper St. Michael’s parking lot, I will have a conveniently located spot. If my calculations are correct, that gives me approximately nine more minutes of sleeping each morning, accumulating to about 45 more minutes of sleep a week – sleep I could have used this year. Not only that, but we finally have the option to go off campus during frees and consume food other than the cafeteria’s.

4. Bye bye, junior year: Finally, in becoming seniors we get to free ourselves from the shackles of junior year. Although the first half of senior year will be rough, after a semester of exertion, we’ll finally have a semester to hang back, relax and perhaps enjoy our learning without the stress of college admissions, standardized tests and grades.

Top four things I am dreading about senior year:

1. Goodbye, class of 2013: In order for us to become seniors, the current class must vacate the position and on June 7 they will be doing exactly that. The classes of 2013 and 2014 are uncharacteristically close, and we are going to losing the presence of some of our closest friends.

2. The college process: The single most dreaded aspect of senior year. The thing we have been preparing for for our whole lives, and most prominently in the years we’ve attended Harvard-Westlake. The college process is awful, unfair and stressful. It tests friendships, makes us deal with rejection and teaches us patience. All we can do is hope and trust that it will all work out. Although the process is unavoidable, it is definitely not something I am looking forward to.

3. One more year: We’re running out of time. All we have left is about nine months to “make our mark,” as students at Harvard-Westlake before our lives change forever. After five years of being together, the class of 2014 has only nine more months of normalcy, of familiarity before we disperse to colleges around the world and pursue our own separate paths of life. Although our paths may cross, this is our last chance to get to know everyone around us before it’s too late.

4. Oldest on campus: Although this is not all bad, as we are going to be “the ones in charge,” we’re going to be held to a high standard; we’re expected to be the role models, the leaders. Consequently, there is something unsettling about having no one to look up to. Our responsibility will become to boast our years of experience to pave the way for the grades below us – great responsibilities we are expected to fulfill.

And as I say good riddance to junior year and goodbye and good luck to the class of 2013. I also say welcome to the class of 2016, and perhaps we can help show you the way so that you aspire to be like us one day.