Mead Hardacre

Senior Column


Right now, I feel like I’m facing the conundrum that countless numbers of my predecessors have faced already. I’m a senior about to graduate, after 13 long years, I’m finally almost there. I’ve experienced so many things that will stick with me for the rest of my life. But, after all that, I can’t think of anything to say. Not out of flustered excitement or speechless joy, but simply because there’s nothing I have to say that I think is worthy of sharing. 

I suppose I could look to others for examples. What do people usually put in these things? Interesting memories, funny observations, words of advice? Let’s start with those. Memories, you could definitely say that I’ve had a pretty memorable year. Not simply because of my personal experience, but rather the circumstances that affected the entire graduating class of 2021. The class of 2020 witnessed some similar things toward the end of their school year, but in a way, it was the exact opposite of this year. They had a normal experience for nearly their entire senior year, with things getting crazy just a few months before they graduated. My graduating class, on the other hand, had a completely crazy year nearly the whole time, with things getting a little closer to “normal” just a short while ago. It was strange spending over an entire year inside, and even stranger having school during that time. Can I personally say that I had a hard time? No. There were others that suffered and lost a lot more than me during this pandemic, and being a homebody isn’t exactly something that I’m unfamiliar with. 

Do I have any observations? I suppose I should. All I really ever did was observe. I wasn’t too involved with much during high school. I made some friends and was social enough, sure, but I definitely didn’t go very far out of my comfort zone. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a regret of mine. I’m not uncomfortable with mediocrity. I remember when I first started high school, I was really worried that it was going to be so much harder than middle school. In reality, I think middle school was like 10 times harder than any year of high school ever was. I didn’t take any AP or honors classes, and I’m glad I didn’t. Some people enjoy the challenge and the prestige, but it was never really for me. I stuck to what felt comfortable and I had a pretty easy time.

I guess that leads to my advice. High school taught me that life can be as easy as you make it. It may not be very rewarding, but if you don’t mind keeping things simple, you can usually find a way. Strive to achieve what you want to achieve, but don’t try to weigh yourself down with stuff that doesn’t make you happy because it probably won’t be worth much in the long run. Focus on keeping yourself happy, and use that happiness to figure out what you want to do with your life. Once you’ve discovered something that makes you happy, and you’ve figured out a way to make that into a living, that’s when you give it your all.