Column: Here’s to the bittersweet moments


Stu Mair

Senior Julia Vastano shares on her senior year of high school, which taught her to embrace the moment and appreciate each memory.

Julia Vastano, Editor-in-chief

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of farewells from some of the seniors on The Red Ledger staff.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way,” –A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

One of my favorite books, A Tale of Two Cities is a story of the French Revolution. I find this famous first passage of the novel to be almost universally true for times of change. Much like the French Revolution, senior year is a time of change.

All of the moments of contradictory emotion you experience as a senior are summed up by this Dickens passage; the eagerness for the “last first day” of school, the excitement of your last school dance, the thrill of getting accepted to your dream school. Every single happy moment is fleeting because you will be leaving home, your friends, and everything familiar in a few months.

I have come to a realization that the most challenging part about senior year isn’t the homework, exams or applications, but knowing that all of the best times of your life so far have an expiration date. The biggest challenge I have faced this year is to live for the present.

Like many students at Lovejoy, I have spent the past three years cramming my schedule with extracurriculars, AP classes, SAT prep and work. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret any of it because it got me into my dream school, the University of Texas. However, senior year is not the time for over-achieving.

Junior year, some of my greatest triumphs were extracurricular or academic achievements, but senior year was a time for making memories and friends.

Senior year was not better, but different. Senior year was hanging out on the beach with my best friends or looking at them from across a bonfire knowing our lives were never going to be the same way again. Senior year was knowing a majority of the teachers at school, and the high school finally feeling like a home. Senior year was family dinners and hearing about my little brother’s day at school.

And in less than 100 days, I will move to a city far away from all of the memories I have grown to love.

So rising seniors, all of those bittersweet moments you will experience as a senior are okay. Embrace them, enjoy them and stop thinking about the future for a few months.I would also like to thank all of the teachers and classmates I have had past and present for making my high school career, specifically my senior year so memorable.

To my mom and dad; you know that without you I couldn’t have survived the last four years. Thank you for picking me up when I was down, making the good times better and for being my best friends.

To my new “senior” best friends; I wish we were closer the last four years. All of you are truly precious to me and never fail to make me laugh. I will always the memories we have together from these last months of high school, and they are part of what made my cliche high school experience great.

To The Red Ledger’s staff, past and present; we have had some incredible adventures and opportunities together. From DC to Dallas Morning News day, we have met and interviewed several incredible people. Thank you for all of the fun times, the Baconfests, sad pictures and bad jokes along the way.