by Nicole Stanton

Seniors, we’re nearly done. The Senior Sleepover, Senior Trip, Graduation – it’s all coming at us at full speed. The word “last” has been on all of our minds the past week. Last assembly, last Chadwick performance, last day of class, last test, last free period breakfast, last carpool and so on.
Some of the “lasts” are more welcomed than others. I am sure we all are looking forward to shedding the tremendous workload that has been on our shoulders the past four years. It seems as though Chadwick has forcefully exiled any and all “Senioritis” for the last week of school. We are reminded of how hard we have had to work to get where we are, and that the work is not over until we walk through those graduation gates.
Other “lasts” are much less welcome. Especially those “lasts” that are completely unique to our Chadwick experience. Those “lasts” we will never come by again are much more difficult to let pass. Never again will we sit in the amphitheater surrounded by the entire Chadwick student body, listening to the weekly announcements, including everything from Kapple Facts to Dr. B. giving away flowers. We will have few more opportunities to just sit with our friends on the lawn.
This is the last time we will go to a school where everyone knows us by name, and where our guard is down. We will never again attend a school that contains all of the Chadwick friends we have come to know and love.
Even though those “lasts” are somewhat heartbreaking, the fact that we are leaving has not seemed to hit us quite yet. The gravital finality of the situation as of yet seems unreal.
When the Class of 2010 had their Senior Sleepover, it seemed as if we were more upset than they were. I distinctly remember our grade, in particularly me, crying miserably while our favorite 2010’s comforted us, decked in their college sweatshirts. I now realize why that happened.
As juniors, watching the seniors leave, we only could comprehend an “end” when leaving Chadwick. We understood that they were done with high school and that idea was depressing to us. Now, however, we are in their position, and the finality is closing in. Yes, we have an end very near in sight, but we also have a beginning. One chapter is closing and another is starting right away.
While the knowledge of a new beginning may not be enough to console us entirely, it at least helps a bit. The excitement of a new school and new life has held back the tears and sadness for a long while. When we see each other in our college sweatshirts it will be nearly impossible to only think of the end. Although we are going our separate ways, we still are together in a sense. Yes, our destinations lie in dozens of different cities and states, but all of them are somewhat the same.
We have spent the last four years, some even more, together. In spending this much time with a class so small, we have all witnessed each other change and grow. We have seen the good and the bad, and everything in between. It is undeniable that we are entirely different from our freshman selves. While this change is mostly individual, we are also highly affected and molded by our friends, classmates, and teachers. Not in a negative way, but in a way that allows us to find the best parts of ourselves. We all have molded each other in some way and because of this, we all move on together. Physically we will no longer be present on the small campus that has become our second home, but we take a little bit of everyone along with us, towards whatever our next step may be.
This is the first significant end most of us have had in our lives. High school is over, we’re moving away from home, and we are starting our newly independent lives. This is a big one, but we will have many more “ends,” and even more “lasts” ahead of us. We must acknowledge and accept the end of every great thing, and give it what it deserves.
We can’t waste the last bit of time we have here focusing on the sadness of leaving. Instead, we can focus on the fact that we all are moving forward to an exciting beginning. As we say goodbye to Chadwick, we can find solace in the next step we take together.