The memories that linger and the accomplishments that last


It’s hard for me to even fathom my junior year being over. It’s been this ominous cloud hanging over my head for as long as I can recall. In fact, I remember the day I found out about the SAT. I was all freaked out because I was told that someday I would have to take a test over everything I had ever learned. Naturally, as an elementary schooler, this concept was extremely scary, but I remember my mom telling me that I would have to take it someday, but that day was far from now, and that I don’t need to worry about it yet. 

That someday came and went this year, and while I can’t speak to my SAT scores directly, I can say that I survived. Not only did I survive the SATs, but I also survived AP World History, AP Seminar, another year on TCT staff, horrendous amounts of homework, being away from Julia for the first time, a breakup, and having a job for the entire school year; I survived the supposed hardest year of high school. 

And, while I am terrified about the future application I have to fill out and the seemingly life-changing decisions I have to make, I take comfort in knowing that I not only survived, but also accomplished a lot this year. 

Like many other students, I go through my entire school year praying for its quick end. On those sleepless nights, and the days when 24 hours literally wasn’t enough to finish my to-do list, I wanted nothing more than for summer to arrive. Don’t get me wrong, I still want nothing more, but there is a part of me that knows once summer hits, I am no longer going to be a junior. I actually have let go of all that built-up anticipation I had for the first sixteen years of my life.

I take comfort in knowing that I not only survived, but also accomplished a lot this year. 

However, I refuse to be too sad. A little bit, maybe, when I think of the memories I won’t get to relive, and I might shed a tear here or there when I remember all of the seniors I am going to miss more than anything: Nat, Emma, and Avery. 

But, most importantly, I am happy, because this year was brutal and amazing all at once. When I think back to the beginning of the year, I remember starting it out with a bang. Lip sync practice after lip sync practice, I could feel our class becoming closer. 

Our efforts weren’t unanswered, because juniors actually won Homecoming this year, which was a major improvement from our freshman year. I have two memories from the fall that pretty much sum up that part of my junior year. 

The first one was when the student council asked Crandall and me to recreate the Dirty Dancing lift for our ’80s-themed lip sync. I honestly wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to pull it off, but after many failed attempts, we found success. And while I was being lifted into the air, I couldn’t help but think that it was our lift that pushed the junior lipsync to win, but then again, that might just be my ego talking. 

The next memory, ironically, also takes place in the air. I have been on the cheer team for three years now, and despite the fact that I have competed in actual cheer competitions, one of my biggest accomplishments was during a friendly competition with another team during halftime to see which stunt group could hold their flyer in the air longest. As a freshman and sophomore on the team, I wouldn’t have stood a chance in competitions like these, but there was something about this year—I had the most amazing stunt group, and I too have grown a lot as a flier; we won the competition. 

Winning was like tangible proof that I wasn’t a freshman anymore, that I had grown, and that I can be a leader on this team that I love so much. 

My next memory from winter would have to be Winterfest. Anyone that actually attended the dance that night would tell you that the music was worse than ever and that no one seemed to really be in the school dance spirit. I honestly was ready to give up on the night.

Luckily, however, the majority of the junior class got together after the dance, and we talked, danced, and actually lived in the moment for one night. It was a similar feeling then as when we were all together practicing our lip sync.

There is something so calming about being around people who don’t completely know who you are, yet at the same time, you’ve grown up with. We have watched each other go through awkward phases, and we haven’t all gotten along all of the time, but sometimes, for a split second, none of that matters, and we all come together to make a memory worth sharing. 

My best spring memory or accomplishment, rather, was becoming an Editor in Chief. I have watched as some of the best people I know receive this job aching for the day when it’s my turn, and that day has finally come. 

Being an editor has been my goal since I first stepped foot into Mr. George’s classroom. I can’t quite explain why except that it just makes sense. I figured that if I am going to dedicate four years of my life to something, then why shouldn’t I go all in? 

I have my entire senior year to leave my official mark on TCT—something that has been so important to me throughout high school. And, I have all summer to figure out what kind of editor I want to be as I have seen a variety of different personalities come and go. 

Though, at the end of the day, it’s not about having my name on the wall or being able to sit on the couch; it’s about what parts of me are going to be left after I am gone. Three years ago, Ashlyn Korpack was my editor, and in my head, she will always be my editor. I am not completely sure what she is doing now, but I know that next year, I am going to take a little bit of what she taught me and a little bit of what every editor has taught me since and apply their legacy to my future. 

And on the inevitable day that I have to leave this place, I hope I have done something worth remembering too.