I blinked, it’s gone


One of my favorite pictures from our marching band kickoff show.

Nearly every time I open The Central Trend I cry. This time was no different. It inspired me to write one more, so thank you, Ella.

Freshman year was a blur. All I really remember is a lot of anxiety, a lot of laughter, and new friends.

I’ll skip through sophomore and junior year too, because those were mostly taken over by COVID and SATs.

The lines between July and August were blurred by my last band camp. A whirlwind of drill and conducting. Learning music and playing games.

Tara and I worked together to make our evening activities the best we could. Hunger Games was fun to watch, and Capture the Flag was full of twists. From a clarinet win to a truce made when the Drumline and the Low Brass swapped flags at the 50-yard line.

The dance was one to remember. By that point, we were all exhausted. There was a lot of yelling and dancing. So much singing that by the time we got to the kickoff show I had lost my voice.

This year’s kickoff show was the best one I’ve ever participated in. Whether that was the power I felt being drum major, or the community that I had built over the last four years. You can see it on my face in the pictures taken of me that night. I was grinning from ear to ear. I was running on adrenaline. Linus and Sukhpreet told us they were proud of us.

The end of August brought the beginning of the end. The first week was a blur of laughter, a few tears, and excitement. Planning our senior ID card pictures and attending Senior Sunrise. August was a good month for me.

The highlight of my senior year, I think, came when August became September and the leaves started to change.

September brought Senior Retreat. It definitely could have been better, but definitely one of my highlights. I got to spend the whole day with some of my best friends, I got closer to some people and learned a lot about myself.

September brought Friday night lights and halftime shows. The Ranger Marching Band Motown show was finally coming together. By homecoming, we had it down and were excited to perform in front of one of our biggest audiences.

Quickly, September faded into October. The trees became even more colorful and finally, the leaves started to fall. October brought more football and my last homecoming.

Homecoming, both the game and the dance, were magical. The night of the dance we got ready and screamed Taylor Swift. We took pictures, stuck around the dance for an hour or two, and moved on to Meijer. From there were spent the next few hours at Denny’s. It was a great night.

Not long after that, October became November and football was coming to an end.

The Senior Night football game was even better than the homecoming game, but the most memorable game wouldn’t come until the end of the season. I will never forget the way I felt standing on the podium in front of hundreds of people on the same field the Detroit Lions play on. Ford Field will be something I never forget.

Finally, the stress of the extended football season, along with the excitement of it all, died down and we were left with final preparations for our first band concert and the beginning of exam season.

As November came to a close I remember high feelings of stress and awaiting our holiday break that was just around the corner.

December opened with the sounds of Christmas music and studying. Exams were fast approaching, and I wanted to do well. December meant the return of the Carmel Brulee Latte, which is one of my favorite Starbucks drinks, and the draining of my bank account in the search for perfect gifts for my friends and family.

The awaited snow never really came, but we made the best of our final days of school for the semester. As exams came to a close, feelings of senioritis and anxiety started to set in. We were getting closer to making final college decisions.

I hardly remember January. I can safely say I was sick for most of it, and it began the “part-time student” saga.

February went by quickly, and I was focused on my trip out to Pennsylvania. This trip would, hopefully, be the deciding factor in my future.

First, West Chester University. At the time, this school was number one on my list. I will say, I liked it well enough. The campus was smaller than I was expecting, although beautiful. The town was cute and felt very old. I did enjoy the school, and I could see myself there, but only if the next school wasn’t a yes.

The moment I got out of the car at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s (IUP) bookstore I was in love. For months my friends had been talking about the feeling they got when they stepped on campus. They felt like they were at home, and they couldn’t see themselves anywhere else. I hadn’t felt that, and I was afraid I never would. I was worried that my choice would be hard because I couldn’t see myself somewhere. When I got to IUP I didn’t want to leave. The tour the next day only confirmed that this was the place for me. I committed as soon as we got in the car.

To any underclassman who may be reading this, don’t blink. It’ll be over before you know it, and you will wish you still had all four more blinks.

February also brought Winterfest, which wasn’t quite something I was looking forward to. I got dressed up and took pictures with my friends. We went to dinner and got boba downtown. By the time we got to the dance I was over it. We stayed for an hour at the most and headed back out to my car. When I started driving I quickly found that my tire was flat. My parents were at a friend’s house so couldn’t pick me up. Luckily, my boyfriend’s mom saved the day. She drove Alex home and me to their house where I spent the last few hours of the night, before going home for much-needed sleep.

With March came the end of the year quickly approaching, or so I thought. March was the longest month of my life. Spring break couldn’t come fast enough. I missed so much school in March, but eventually, spring break arrived.

Thankfully, March eventually gave way to April. I can safely say the first half of April felt like its own month. My friend had just gotten home from boot camp and all I wanted to do was hang out with him and the rest of our little group. By the end, time seemed to speed up significantly. Suddenly we were mere weeks out from the last day of school.

April has since faded, and May is here. May is here, and I have less than a week left of school, and less than two until I am not a high school student anymore. Prom is around the corner, and I’m so excited, but that marks the end.

If I could go back to the beginning of freshman year, or even the moment I realized band camp was coming to an end and the beginning of my last year of school was fast approaching I would. If I could I would tell my past self to enjoy every moment.

To any underclassman who may be reading this, don’t blink. It’ll be over before you know it, and you will wish you still had all four more blinks.

12 more days.