Senior goodbye: Unfulfilled expectations

Senior+Emma+Overholt+discusses+the+downside+to+having+great+expectations.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Senior goodbye: Unfulfilled expectations

Senior Emma Overholt discusses the downside to having great expectations.

Senior Emma Overholt discusses the downside to having great expectations.

Shae Daugherty

Senior Emma Overholt discusses the downside to having great expectations.

Shae Daugherty

Shae Daugherty

Senior Emma Overholt discusses the downside to having great expectations.

Emma Overholt, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Editor’s Note: Senior goodbyes are student pieces that reflect on their past years in high school. These pieces take very different perspectives and the prompt was meant to be vague to inspire creativity.

At the end of my sophomore year, I walked into my academic decathlon class during finals week and took one of the strangest exams ever. Competition season ended in January, and the 45-minute long class period had turned into a time for ridiculous conversations between me and my teammates. When the exam period rolled around, I had expected to spend the time goofing off with my friends. However, we were presented with a final exam.

“You are going to write a letter to your senior self,” Mrs. Olsen said.

Exaggerated groans and sighs filled the room until we realized she was serious. She instructed us to pull out a piece of notebook paper and write whatever came to our minds. Overthinking and planning will forever be habits of mine so after staring at the blank piece of paper for quite some time, I decided to make a list of what I hoped to be like as a senior. Much to my own dismay, I do not remember the contents of that letter, but in less than one month it will be retrieved from the depths of Mrs. Olsen’s front desk drawer and handed to me at graduation.

My hazy memory of the letter spurred great uncertainty and made me question how I spent my years in high school.

Will I live up to my own expectations?

Will my sophomore self be disappointed?

What could I have done better?

These thoughts lingered, making themselves at home deep inside my mind. For the longest time, they were extremely stubborn, but after much contemplation, exaggerated hypotheticals, and unwanted anxiety, I realized the only way to wash away these worries is to find a balance between my expectations and reality. I took this lesson and applied it to how I thought about everything.

I will continue to fantasize about the perfect summer break, that boy I just can’t stop thinking about, and even my ideal self. However, I will stay grounded in reality so those fantasies cannot hurt me. Disappointment caused by high expectations is an odd mixture of guilt, regret, and sadness. Feeling like you failed yourself is often worse than failing others.

After four years of high school, I’ve finally come to the realization that not everything is going to go how I imagined it. Many times my illusions of a perfect high school experience tarnished how I felt in the present moment. Only through the process of enjoying the people, classes, and events for what they actually are, do the most meaningful memories take place.

My last words of my career at Lovejoy are these: live a life where you are completely and totally yourself, one where you are motivated by your aspirations, not intimidated by them. Undoubtedly, my letter made me realize living with a sense of imagination doesn’t hinder my time in high school, or any other experiences or that matter. In fact, it’s why they are so memorable.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email