There are three days until I don a blue cap and gown to signify my final day as a Geneva Viking. Three days until I receive a diploma as a symbol of my accomplishments. Three days until I stand alongside my classmates for the last time before we all go our separate ways.
Three days until I graduate from high school. It still doesn’t feel quite real.
When I was a freshman, senior year seemed so far away. I used to eagerly anticipate the day I would get to wear one of those cool tie-dye senior girl shirts, showing the entire student body that I had finally reached the pinnacle of my high school existence. Looking back now, the thought makes me chuckle. Senior year has been incredible, don’t get me wrong. But there’s so much more to high school than just getting to the top, and I’m grateful for the many moments over the past four years that have impacted me.
Freshman Emma, for example, started writing this column. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was getting into, but she knew she wanted to share her love of writing with the world. Four years later, she’s still writing, and even though she has only a few more weeks to go with the Chronicle, she’s enjoyed every moment of finding her voice.
Sophomore Emma traveled to Mexico for her first mission trip and left a little piece of her heart with the people she served there. She ended up going on the same trip two more times, each experience more transformative than the last. It hurts knowing she won’t be returning this summer, yet her life and worldview have been forever changed.
Junior Emma discovered how much she loved being onstage, whether it was performing in a theatrical production or gaining the confidence to play piano and sing in front of a crowd. She still gets a little nervous every now and then, but the nerves pale in comparison to the thrill of becoming a character or connecting with an audience through music.
As for senior Emma? Well, it’s too soon to say. So much has happened this year, both good and bad, and it’ll take me some time to process everything before I can definitively say who I was during this phase of my life. But I know that I am incredibly blessed to have had such awesome opportunities, meaningful friendships, and life-changing experiences over the course of my high school career, and I am who I am today because of them.
The senior sentimentality will only continue in the weeks ahead, and I’m sure that my final few columns will contain plenty of it. Even so, I believe that the end of this era is making way for the beginning of another. In three days, senior year will be behind me, but I know a world of opportunity lies ahead.
Emma Chrusciel is a senior at Geneva High School. In addition to writing, she loves Broadway musicals, playing piano, and spending time with her family and friends. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.