Wilsonville High School senior Lauren Burns looks back on her high school experience and ahead to college

I don't know what's more obvious — my spring break sunburn or my senioritis. The Monday we came back from a week off of school, we could feel it. We seniors have heard back from all of our colleges. We know where we're accepted, where we're denied. And all of us have this one thought encouraging our procrastination: high school doesn't matter anymore (or at least, not as much)! Our unexcused absences have started to climb, and sleeping through first period is sounding like a great idea. We have college on the horizon.

Everyone says college is so much better than high school. While homework out of class increases, class time drastically decreases, leaving more free time than us high school students are used to. You have the opportunity to pursue academic areas you're actually interested in. You can roll out of bed in your pajamas and walk to class on time. You can even play ultimate Frisbee on an organized team! But among these divine opportunities, there's another that we often don't talk about: the opportunity to start over.Lauren Burns

Starting over — that's a novel thought, isn't it? When was the last time you entered an environment where you knew no one and no one knew you? No one is there to re-educate everyone on the time you threw up all over your third grade teacher. No one calls you by that stupid nickname your middle school soccer coach invented. No one knows your reputation in high school.

The freedom is endless.

In Wilsonville, most of us have gone to school with the same kids for years, some even since preschool. While these relationships have rich histories and depth, you start crafting a reputation for yourself from the get-go. It becomes difficult to change your reputation or habits when everyone around you seems to know your full life history. The allure of college is getting the chance to be a completely different person, getting the chance to do things a little differently.

Maybe we like our reputation in high school. But maybe we have a really embarrassing story no one ever forgot. Maybe we wish people didn't remember us for that awkward middle school phase we went through. Maybe when we look back over the years we wish we'd had the freedom to be more outgoing, more direct, more studious, more....something. College is that chance, and college is coming soon.

While college is a great opportunity to start over, it doesn't mean that we have to wait until the fall to re-evaluate the reputation we've created for ourselves and whether or not we like it. We have the opportunity to change how we act, who we're friends with, and what we're involved in, even in these last two months of high school. Senioritis might be setting in hard, but it doesn't mean we have to completely give up....well, at least not in all areas.

Lauren Burns is a senior at Wilsonville High School.

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