In the Blink of an Eye

A narrative letter to rising upperclassmen— your future is nearer than you think.

Ashleigh Tain, Editor-in-Chief

At our Labor Day barbeque the night before my first day of freshman year, my cousin pulled me aside to chat about ‘school’. A rising senior at the time, I assumed she would want to share with me her advice for the next grim-looking four years that would be my high school experience; I was instead met with a passionate account of her best moments and favorite memories from her time in high school to that point, a somewhat emotional endeavor on her part that she ended with a simple sentence that still rings in my ears to this day, carrying no particular weight or sentiment.

“It goes in the blink of an eye. Enjoy it.”

It wasn’t until I watched, tearfully, a few of my closest friends walk out the doors of Oakton High School for their last time as graduated seniors that the monument of her words finally struck a bell. It does go in the blink of an eye. Yesterday, I sat in the cavernous Oakton auditorium at my freshman orientation and within a few weeks, I will be a senior.

Senior year is an odd limbo. So attached to your childhood as attending the school you entered at the ripe age of 13 while simultaneously standing on the brink of adulthood; our future in our hands but our past in our pocket; college on the horizon, but grade school right behind. Any way you put it, the kind of experience coupled with the title of ‘senior’ is one unlike any other. More than anything it is a time to reflect and look back on years past, examining your personal growth since the 9th grade in evaluating your path for the future.

Some argue that being a teenager is the best time of your life— youth can be a catalyst for positive experiences. So take it from a rising senior, underclassmen; enjoy your time. Budget it, of course, but also understand that your high school experience is unlike any other and it is time you might never get back; so enjoy it. Breathe deep, feel your feet on the ground, and look around where you stand. And do so before you blink yourself to graduation.