By Athena Patitsas

Six AP/IB classes and no studyhall is not the way I intended to spend my senior year. But after considering my graduation requirements, my interests, and my college applications, I couldn’t bring myself to lighten my load. Although not every senior may be as crazy as I am, and some are crazier, I know for a fact that every senior is experiencing crazy feelings about our last year here.

Personally, I didn’t see senior year coming. But even as I got my schedule and textbooks, even as I walked in on the first day feeling like I owned the place, and even as I kept telling myself I was a senior, I still was in denial that my days at UAHS are numbered.

Unlike a very small fraction of my peers who know what they want to do, I am a member of the “I don’t really know yet” party. We’ve all been asked the obvious questions over and over by this point, and will be asked infinitely more times. “Where are you going to school? What do you want to study?” Although I know people are just curious, and I myself ask my friends this question, when posed with the issue myself I just want to run away and hide in my elementary school.After that, my life plan turns into a universe’s worth of opportunities and branches. An abyss where the path drops off and I’m supposed to spread my wings and fly away, or however you want to put it.

Every day I hear other seniors talking about the future. College visits, scholarships, sports, financial aid, affordability, essays, deadlines, applications, admissions, hopes, dreams, concerns, and most of all stress, stress, stress. Not to mention all of the ‘lasts’ this year, whether in school, sports, extracurriculars, or any other area of life. Then on top of that, there’s capstone, service hours, and the regular struggles of life.

With so much going on, I have one message for my fellow seniors: Everything will work out. No matter what college you are accepted to or decide to attend, you can have a great experience there. No matter where you and your friends end up, you can make the effort to stay in touch, and you will always have each other to rely on. When someone presents a well-intentioned inquiry as to what your plans are for the future, it’s OK to smile politely and admit that you have no idea. We are not running out of time. Go where you want, and if you change your mind, it’s OK. Last of all, stress is OK in moderation, but don’t let it take over. Every part of your life is the best part of your life, just for different reasons. Make senior year unforgettable, but know that wherever you go next will be amazing too. And wherever that may be, you have your friends, classmates, and teachers from Upper Arlington to support you.