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Flash forward to second semester,most of that nostalgia has been replaced with sarcasm and impatience. 

My friends and I often poke fun at ourselves and others for frequently commenting on the many "lasts" we're facing this school year. Sydney Byun

Last first day of school, last football game, last homecoming parade, last time attending third period on the second Thursday of October.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating, but at the beginning of this year, it truly felt like we were grasping onto every little detail. Back in September, these remarks would be bittersweet, coming from a place of sentimentality. Flash forward to second semester, and most of that nostalgia has been replaced with sarcasm and impatience. 

It seems only natural that the shiny veneer of being a senior would wear off at some point, replaced with a whopping case of senioritis. The most common thing you'll hear from seniors these days is that they "can't wait to graduate." I would know, having both heard and said this phrase a number of times.

With college applications submitted and some students already finalizing their plans for the future, the final months of high school can feel like a slog. The thought of walking across that stage at graduation permeates our minds, making it difficult to focus on worksheets and pop quizzes.

To make matters worse, many of us are hovering in a limbo of sorts, waiting for colleges to release their decisions, trying to decipher the hieroglyphics that are financial aid forms, looking for any indication whatsoever of what path we should choose. It can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Despite motivational mantras about "living in the present," I think we're always taught to look to the future. In elementary school, teachers would tell us that our goal was to prepare for middle school. Once in middle school, we were told that preparing ourselves to succeed in high school was our objective. It's fine to be goal-oriented, but there is a lot to be gained from focusing on the present. 

It's hard to break old habits, but recently I've been making a conscious effort to enjoy my high school experience before it becomes a thing of the past.

Whenever I feel bored, unmotivated, exhausted and completely sure that I'm ready to leave it all behind, I remind myself of the things that I'll end up missing — my friends, most of whom I've grown up with; my incredible teachers; the bus rides to tennis matches. As much as we want to move on to the next stage of our lives, we should end strong and enjoy this final chapter rather than letting it fizzle out.

Soon, we'll all be going through a lot of firsts as we transition into independence. Why not enjoy the lasts?

Sydney Byun is a senior at Wilsonville High School.


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