The Senior Mentality


As we took in the chaotic scene that surrounded us in Enloe’s front yard: freshmen the size of ants anxiously running through the bus loop, frustrated seniors waiting to exit the newly switched senior lot, my friend Menuki turned to me and voiced her observation, a thought that changed my whole outlook of highschool as we now know it. “Did you realize that the highest mentality in school right now is at a sophomore level?” At that moment I thought about everything, from the sophomores who have never stepped foot into Enloe, freshmen walking each other with dog leashes, Juniors still learning the long hallways and us seniors writing essays for an important step in our lives that came too soon. We questioned if our last school year really happened. Whether you were a 7th grader, 8th grader, freshman, or sophomore during the last time we were in school, It felt as though the time we spent caught in the midst of showdowns between our digital teachers and phones was a filler episode in our education. The missing timeslot in our lives meant that our minds only knew where we last left off.  Similarly and more shockingly, that would also mean our new coming Enloe freshmen had the mentalities of 7th graders! 

Seniors are struggling to get teacher recommendations from teachers they had in a year that barely existed to us. Teachers that only knew us by the profile picture or letter of our school accounts. The role that we were suddenly dropped into overwhelmed many of us. We had become what my classmate Julia Schmitt had said best: “ overhyped sophomores”. No one has the mental experience of junior year so how could we fit the senior mentality with a missing stepping stone? Being a senior comes with this natural sense of power, and I’m not talking about, “Oh I am better than all of you,” (I am, but not the point.) I mean the feeling of being grown up, that you’ve made it and have all this wisdom. Whether it’s 8th graders in middle school or even 5th graders in elementary school, reaching the top of the food chain becomes that all-knowing entity that worked their way to their reigning moments. The only thing is, I feel as if I did not earn this so-called “power.” I get this sudden burst of confidence then lose it the second I have even the slightest bit of confusion. I, and maybe many of you too, started to convince myself that I have to know everything about Enloe as my “duty” of being a senior. I have brainwashed my own mind into thinking everyone suddenly depends on me, it became this weird man versus self-conflict that once I began to realize I had, got me constantly wondering  “I did earn this position…right?”                

And it doesn’t stop there either. We still have the eerie vibe of senioritis creeping upon us. Personally, I’m too drained to build up the defenses to fend off its attack. So instead I just let the motivation be slowly stolen away only 3 days into school starting. We, having the mentality of sophomores, don’t have the room nor time for this senioritis. We had been frozen for over a year but the world kept spinning, time kept moving, and we were left. Stuck playing catch up to a destiny that was promised to us but yanked out from under our feet.