Ready for life

First: Park my car in the lot that has cost me $60.

Second: Finish the breakfast my mom handed me on the way out the door.

Third: Turn off the radio, iPod or CD.

Fourth: Grab all the things I need for the school day: my backpack, camera and violin.

Last: Wander through the parking lot to the building where I’ll spend seven plus hours.

My morning routine in high school has been this way for almost three years. The past week, however, has felt a little different. My days are now marked by lasts: last orchestra concert, last time I’ll work on the Passage, last English book assigned, last Monday, last Tuesday, last day…
I’m realizing that the routine I have created for myself will soon be interrupted. But the thought of starting something new is exhilarating.

Freshman year was about proving myself and breaking through my shyness. I remember entering the building for the first time as an enrolled student. I had no idea what to expect, but I tried to convey a confidence, which I didn’t really have, with a bright pink bandana tied in my hair and a thick layer of eyeliner. Everything was new, and the small world I lived in seemed unpredictable. Then I got the ticket to growing up: my driver’s license. Independence granted.

I found confidence and developed a basic understanding of how I fit into high school during my sophomore year. My extracurricular activities became more concrete; I got more involved in journalism and participated in my last year of JV soccer.

By my junior year I knew what high school was about: being busy. I established myself in a leadership role and developed the confidence to be myself. I had the stereotypical high school sweetheart. School became an expected routine that had started to grow dull, but I was proud of the person I was becoming.

Senior year has been hectic. I have become conscious of the strong bonds I share with people. The feeling of moving on entices me, but more than anything, senior year has been about getting ready. I’m finally ready to move on to college. I’m ready for the rest of my life.