Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Senior Year

I am basically in awe of any former CHSADK (or CHSADA for Alumni) who graduated following environmental/competition-cooperation year, which is what we Stoa/NCFCA peoples who were around then call the 2009-2010 season. Why? Because that was year I joined as a freshman. Therefore, anyone who was a senior my novice year was like, brilliant. I still get starstruck thinking of the big names, amazing interpers who I desperately wanted/want to be, debaters everyone still loves and dislikes, and all the classic characteristics of the terrifyingly old senior class.

And do you know what's weird about those resolutions I mentioned earlier? They're old.
Because that's what those old-timers were debating my freshman year. And now I'm a senior.
And that means I'm old! Ahh!

So this is my senior year. And then I'll graduate, which sounds horrible, even though Carey said it's not that bad, and I keep telling myself that. But I'm scared to be an alumnus. Alumni. Whatever. I'm not even sure what to call myself.

I've known that my senior year was going to be this year from about the time I figured out senior means 12th-grader and did the math, so I can't really say I'm that surprised or that it somehow snuck up me like the sneaky year it kind of is. But it didn't really hit home until recently when I was talking to one of those kids who was a senior the year I joined, and basically one of my favorite alumni.

Him: Chandler, are you competing this year?
Me: Yup.
Him: Is this your last year?
Me: Yup.
Him: I was going to say, you've been around for forever!

And I thought, what? I've been around for forever? No, you have been around for forever!
But that was when it kind of hit home for me. I have been around for a while. And it's... almost... over.
Sad face. Sniff.

But hey. Let's be optimistically honest and honestly optimistic. There are definitely good things about being a senior CHSADK. Here comes the list:

1. Everyone Looks Up To You
Not literally, in some cases. As my former debate partner is so fond of saying, I look up to a lot of people. That's supposed to be funny if you know me in real life. Apparently.

But anyway, if you're a senior, (and generally, if you've competed for at least one year, or ideally two or three or more years, in the past) everyone that is not a senior is automatically in awe of you. Why? I don't know. Apparently you've accomplished something simply by sticking around for long enough to be in your final year. Not everyone makes it that far. (Actually, that's not true. Everyone sticks around long enough to compete in their last year of competing, but work with me.) And that's admirable. So it doesn't matter how well you've done in years past, although it helps to have done well, because you're looked up to. It's probably a really great feeling.

In addition, they all somewhat dislike you while admiring you simultaneously because we're all super competitive and they whisper about you behind your back. Sorry. But it's true. They can't wait for you to get out of here. I have felt that way many times myself, even about good friends of mine. Because people, I love you, but you have to go. Let the rest of us be awesome. Bye<3.

2. You Can Go Out With a Bang
Now, you don't have to do this, but sometimes people feel it necessary to do a ridiculous amount of events their senior year. Personally, I am only doing five or six or seven. Plus LD. So there is really no need to worry for my sanity. An alternative way of going out with a bang is just to do really amazingly awesomely well. It doesn't matter if you only do TP. Just rock it. That is what we call a "bang." It's good stuff. Give 'em something to remember you by.

3. You Can Almost Judge
Come one. You know you're looking forward to filling out a ton of ballots someday brimming with brilliant and legible advice. I tried to do that once at a camp tournament, but they ran out of ballots. I was bummed. I went and timed a round instead because they think me capable of that and apparently nothing more. Also, once you've graduated, other people will take your advice or even email you with questions! So far, people don't listen my suggestions in their speeches and stuff, and I'm not sure why except that it's probably related to the fact that I have yet to graduate.

(And if you want to email me with a question someday or even right now, that would seriously make my day. Just saying.)

4. You Can Be An Amazing Example to Others
Okay, serious one. This ties in with the first item on the list, which in case you forgot or you're bad at skimming or the scroller on your mouse broke in the past few minutes, was "Everyone Looks Up To You." When I joined speech and debate and began to admire the senior class, I developed a goal of being like them someday. Sure, I want the people I compete against to be a little afraid, yea. But that's not all or even the most important thing. I tried forever to be friendly to the new and even not-so-new people just like some of those seniors were (and still are) to me because that really really meant a lot. A lot. A lot a lot. And I love that. I wanted to be just like those people who were seniors when I was a little freshman, and now that I'm about to be a senior, albeit a little one, hopefully I'm at that place, or will be soon. It's going to be an adventure! And I'm ready.

It's a weird feeling. I don't really know where I'll be a year from now. It won't be cutting OIs and Duos or thinking about writing cases like it is now (unless those interps and cases are for other people.) It's weird, but it's ok. I'll always be a CHSADK.

You're homeschooled, so you will be too.

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