Dear senior year — the finish line, one so surreal


Missy Jordan

The five seniors at senior night on the basketball court

I remember the day I made the Varsity Dance Team.

It was the spring initiating my freshmen year, a day that had been marked in my calendar months prior—a date I was overly fidgety of. 

I remember the day I competed for the last time on that same team I’ve been dedicated to since I was fourteen, a day I’ve had a digital countdown for on my phone since the start of the season—something I had been ecstatic for yet also apprehensive of. 

That day was two weekends ago.

Each year, I watch as the seniors have their last hoorah. And each year, I’ve stood by the comfort of ensuring myself that I still had time. But now, I’m the senior—and time has run out. This season has been full of lasts—last practices, last full-outs, last competitions. But the biggest last was Nationals. 

I performed at my last ever basketball game this past Friday, a week after returning from hitting the stage for the final time. It felt unreal, like the fact that I’ll never perform on this team again has yet to set in. 

One could say I’ve come full circle. I’ve poured my passion into the sport I’ve loved for years, a sport that evolved into a lifestyle on the Varsity team. I’ve spent my days idolizing the upperclassmen for years on the team—for their talent, their maturity, their beauty. I have adored it all since day one. It’s ironic; as a senior, I still idolize. I, as an upperclassman, idolize the underclassmen—for their persistence, their fiery passion, their undeniable care for the team. 

And it’s all worth it. For all the times I wanted to give up, for the times I couldn’t find motivation, I pushed through—and I’m so inexplicably grateful I did. It’s worth the bruised knees in the Winterfest dance photos; it’s worth taking Advil regularly to cure my sporadic sores all over my body. It’s worth ripping my nail off while practicing a hip-hop trick; it’s worth the times I’ve nearly sobbed while conditioning, and how bad my chest would hurt after our full-outs. It’s worth losing my voice by the end of practices from yelling encouragement to my team members in the midst of our routines; it’s worth the crumpled poms, the ripped jazz shoes, and the runs in my tan tights. 

One could say I’ve come full circle.

I promise.

Because out of it, I’ve received unmatchable friendships, some that I’ll never, ever let slip out of my grasp. I have learned the art of perseverance, of leadership. I have learned to push harder when it’s hard enough—to not be afraid in front of a sea. 

This is an end of an era. As one of five seniors, I can speak for us all when I say that leaving behind something this substantial is nearly unreachable. This experience will be left in my high school years, in the chapter in which I title as some of the worst and best years of my life. 

In a week, I’ll go through my closet and collect all of the things I’ve ever owned that reminded me of the dance team. I’ll say goodbye to the omniscient poms that I’ve been accompanied by at football games, where the crowd is roaring and rowdy as we dance on the sidelines. I’ll fold up my green and white basketball uniform, one that I nearly died from embarrassment over the first time I ever had to wear it to school as a timid, frazzled freshman.

And after that, I’ll hand over my team wear for the next class to utilize, knowing those will never be in my possession again.  

So this is my goodbye to a program that has kept me afloat, involved, and alive with school spirit for the entirety of my high school career. It has bolstered my love of dance and my gratitude for opportunities I never thought I’d have—traveling to Florida three out of the four years to compete nationally, receiving special treatment at sporting events, and most importantly, making some of the most cherished bonds one could ever hope for. 

Thank you, Forest Hills Central Varsity Dance.