Terrified About Senior Year? Here’s How I Overcame It.

Sep. 13, 2017 / By

Long Beach Polytechnic High School (Photo by Crystal Niebla)

Going into senior year of high school can come with a lot of stress or a lot of relief. In my case, it comes with all these emotions and more.

The transition into one’s senior year is always a huge conversation topic. Depending on whom you talk to, the end of the conversation can leave people with a feeling of relief and empowerment, or anxiety and worry. I think it’s because we all have different stories, paths to take, plans made for us or plans we’re attempting to make ourselves.

A lot of my stress is due to regret; I have this weary feeling that the choices I made and continue to make are like leeches and they’re gonna stick to me for a while. Just thinking about it makes me irritable.

Thoughts spiral in my head, “If you only would have tried harder maybe you wouldn’t be in this situation.” Maybe they’re thoughts that cross anyone’s mind from time to time, especially people about to begin a new chapter in their life.

So what’s one to do with this burden? I thought a lot about why I was tearing myself apart. I thought it could possibly have been the media’s ideals or other constructs that lead me to believe what I had achieved wasn’t good enough. It could have be an individual who sparked my doubts or a collection of different people’s perspectives that I internalized overtime. I came to the realization that it was these two explanations combined.

Bianka Carpo, 17, as photographed by her best friend, Patrick Thompson.

It perfectly explained why I was thinking that way *dramatic sigh of relief*. It was delusion. However, I still needed more of a change of mindset and decided to get an outside point of view.

“I think talking my stresses out with friends is a really good helper,” said my best friend, Bianka Carpio, 17. “Usually they are feeling the same things and it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone.”

Little did I know, she was having many of the same doubts and regrets, despite being a senior at a different school, St. Anthony High School.

“I’m not really too happy with my high school career,” she said, before mentioning that senior year gives us another chance to try to our best.

“Honestly I’m scared, but I try to remind myself that I am capable of handling myself. When I lose confidence, I think of those who love and support me,” she said.

As we talked about our shared anxieties, I genuinely felt such a sense of comfort. My advice to anyone going into their senior year with doubts or worries is to talk to people close to you. Get some outside perspective, try and find the root of the problem then zoom out of the problem and see other ways to look at it.

Bianca and I admit — we don’t really know what will happen in the future. But one thing is for sure — it’s never too late to gain a new and healthy perspective!

Illustration by Patrick Thompson

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Patrick Thompson

Patrick is an artist, photographer and student at Long Beach Polytechnic High School.