Springing Forward and Looking Back: A High School Senior Reflects
June 05, 2007
Time is such an ambiguous thing. At some times in life, it seems to go too slow (e.g., chemistry class). At other times it goes too fast (e.g., hanging out with friends). Right now, though, I am caught in an awkward mix of feeling as though time is going both too slow and too fast.
On the one hand, I can’t wait for admissions decisions to come in. It’s been three long months since I submitted my application to the University of California schools, and although at first I was just happy to get them out of my hands, I’m increasingly eager to know what the decisions will be. “D-Day” (March 30 – Berkeley and UCLA decisions) is close, and that makes it easy to count down the days, which, as we all know, just makes the wait seem that much longer. I’m also ready for all these silly AP classes to be over (mid-May), because I’m not really feeling like all this work and stress is amounting to anything. It seems pretty natural to feel impatient at this point in senior year.
At the same time, I’m thinking about how, in less than a month, I’m going to know where I’ll be spending the next four years of my life. It’s one of the strangest feelings ever. I recently talked to my friend Howard (who is a freshman at UC Berkeley this year) about the wait, and the final few months of senior year. He said to enjoy this time while I still have it, because in a few months, nothing will be the same. Before talking to Howard, I had never considered the idea of just enjoying the present. For the past two years, all it’s been is what I’m going to do after I graduate, so this is a paradigm shift.
Now I find myself trying to slow down time. I never thought about how, in just a few months, I won’t be sitting down to dinner with my family on a regular basis anymore. There won’t be a bell telling me to go to my next class. I won’t have to drive my brother to school. I won’t have to tell a parent where I am at all times. I won’t have the privacy of my own bathroom. It will never be like this again. I am trying to see the present for what it is—something that soon won’t be.