I am, however, still holding out hope for our 'last snow day!' It is possible, if unlikely

Jack RocheThe last cross-country meet, last first day of school, final homecoming game and dance, last week of final exams, last Winter Formal, final birthday while living at home, last time walking off the basketball court in the Wildcat gym, last tennis match, final Costco lunch run with friends, last prom, final school bell, last time pulling out of the Wildcat parking lot as a WHS student...

There are definitely a lot of 'lasts' for seniors in high school. For my classmates and I, some of these have already passed and many more are coming over the next four months. It is hard to imagine I will not be weaving my way through the WHS parking lot at 8:27 a.m., just in time to make the 8:30 a.m. bell for Mr. Eby's Government class. I am having trouble with the notion of not being in Mr. Fowler's afternoon AP Calculus class working on derivatives of vector-valued functions or discussing the madness or revenge themes of Hamlet or Frankenstein in Ms. Hanlon's AP English Literature class. Time is marching on, ready or not.

I am, however, still holding out hope for our 'last snow day!' It is possible, if unlikely. According to past Willamette Valley weather stats we have about a 1 in 10 chance of a snow day happening in February. If we don't luck into a snow day or two here soon, then the January 2017 storm will likely be our last weather-induced furlough... a time period during which we enjoyed more than a week off from school. As it turns out, an event of that magnitude occurs only once every 20 or 25 years in these parts.

With the flood of "lasts" and "finals" — really as many as you care to identify - this year, I am definitely a bit more reflective than I have been in the past. I have intentionally allowed myself to be more nostalgic; safely storing away memory milestones and events that before this year I would have taken for granted. I don't want to look back at graduation on June 6 and wonder, "Where did the time go?" So, I am soaking up as many moments as possible. And while I am looking forward to graduation day with my classmates and friends, it does not have to come too quickly. I am enjoying this year, and I look forward to enjoying many more "lasts" in the remaining time we have at Wilsonville.

At the same time, I can't help but look forward. I would be lying if I said was not aware of nor excited about all the "firsts" ahead of me: first college application, first college interview, first college acceptance, first free period, first major trip with friends, sans parental presence, first major solo car trip, first "real" summer job, first college roommate. There is so much ahead to be excited about! The anticipation of all the firsts and other possibilities ahead without question make all the lasts more bearable.

Just as "Commencement" will be the last great ceremony for our class at WHS and yet also the beginning of life after high school for us, 2019 is also a year of both endings and beginnings for our senior class. Adult life is on the horizon for all of us in the Class of 2019, and I can't wait to see what we choose to do with our lives.

We are ready.

Jack Roche is a senior

at Wilsonville High School.

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