On the last night of the Madrigal performance, a medieval feast and show that we perform at the high school, I realized as I looked at all the seniors who were graduating that I was going to be in their position next year. Some of them were tearing up as they sang the last notes of the last song, and I realized that I could be in their shoes exactly a year from then.

Last week, I began my school day like any other teenager in high school: sleep deprived, hopeless, and impatient for the day to end. The bell rang signaling the start of homeroom, we all stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and then a booklet landed on my desk. Before I even looked down to see what it was, I knew it was something I was reluctant to look at.

The booklet was of all the courses for next year and a guide outlining what classes must be taken to graduate. As a caring student, I knew that the time to choose was coming soon, but I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what classes to take. Suddenly, my gloom for not having a plan of what classes to take next year quickly brightened as I realized that this was the last time I would have to make my schedule for high school. I was going to be a senior!

These moments of realization that I was going to be a senior soon struck me a few other times recently. Within the first day of the new year, I realized not only was I going to get my license in 2017, but I was going to become a senior as well. Even more recent, a few hours ago, I was looking at the school calendar for next year, and on the calendar, I saw the date of my graduation. I immediately smiled at the idea of moving onto a new phase in my life.

I’ve been waiting for graduation for the past several years, and I never thought I would have any other emotion besides excitement to graduate as it approached. However, I was a bit wrong about this because despite all the excitement I have to move onto the next phase of my life, there is still some intimidating factors that go along with it.

I knew that I would have to take on some responsibilities as I got older, but I didn’t realize how much of a burden they would be. Even now, when I’m still in high school, there are many decisions I have to make now that may affect the rest of my future. From planning college visits to learning how to spend money wisely to choosing the right college for me, all of these responsibilities constantly dwell in the back of my mind and take away from some of the excitement I still feel for graduating.

Regardless of these intimidating responsibilities, I am still immensely excited to graduate in a year and a half from now. I can’t wait to be able to choose what I want to do, I can’t wait to focus on the subjects I want to focus on, and I can’t wait to have the freedom to make choices for myself.

It may seem scary to graduate and be thrusted into the real world, but my excitement to graduate still greatly outweighs these fears. However, no matter what I feel, I know I should still cherish the here and now and enjoy time with the people I’ve known for the majority of my life before we all go our separate ways.

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