Graduation meltdown

Senioritis takes back seat as last-minute details pile up

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Graduation meltdown

During a summer journalism workshop, senior Laney Rendon enjoys her last summer before graduation.

During a summer journalism workshop, senior Laney Rendon enjoys her last summer before graduation.

Sierra Cornelius

During a summer journalism workshop, senior Laney Rendon enjoys her last summer before graduation.

Sierra Cornelius

Sierra Cornelius

During a summer journalism workshop, senior Laney Rendon enjoys her last summer before graduation.

Laney Rendon, Editor-in-Chief

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It was never a matter of if I’d be going to college, as privileged as that might sound, but more so where I’d be going.

But even now, after deciding my college future, stress – along with my graduation cords – hangs heavy around my neck.

This weight on my shoulders doesn’t come from the inevitable “what now.” No.

It’s prom.

It’s college orientation.

It’s getting an outfit for graduation.

It’s figuring out who I should invite to graduation.

It’s working as much as possible in the short break I have before starting summer classes at Lakeview.

It’s scheduling said classes.

And maybe, just maybe, it IS the big “What now?”

Right when I’ve settled into a mode of relaxation, and when I think the next move is set in stone, my life crumbles under the rubble and loose ends of my senior year bury me in a pit of despair.

All these stressful thoughts can be exciting, but, my goodness. I will go about my day when I get one text from my mom asking me to please not forget to pick my favorite picture for the announcements. Or I’ll serve a customer at work when his college t-shirt reminds me I HAVE to send in my proof of my meningitis vaccination as soon as possible or I won’t be allowed to even set foot on campus without being quarantined.

It’s easy to say, “One day at a time,” from those who already went through this. And believe me, I know once I’m standing outside Strahan Coliseum with my family, seeing their proud faces, minutes away from receiving my diploma, I’ll feel a huge sense of relief.

But these past few days, when I get home from work and look over flashcards to study last minute for AP Exams I actually decided to take, it hits me there are so many small things I need to take care of because each has such a BIG role.

What gets to me the most are the simple questions: What are you wearing for your senior pics? What design will your announcements have?

Those make my eyes water, and I pray for a time machine to get me out of here and done.

It’s exciting, don’t get me wrong, and in no way do I dread where all this is taking me: bright lights shining down on me for my brief not-even 10 seconds of fame where I walk across a stage for a single handshake that holds more meaning than most things I can imagine.

However, and excuse me if I sound ungrateful or maybe even annoying, but this sucks. Most seniors will come across this and completely disagree. I commend them; I really do. I don’t know how y’all do half these things and not have a single complaint.

But for me, I feel like I’m being held down by constant reminders, due dates and texts from family members seeking simple answers.

No, Mom, I haven’t decided what laptop I want yet because I’ve been working the past three days.

No, Kassie*, I don’t know if I can work next Wednesday because I need to get my prom dress tailored by Saturday.

Also, Dad, those earrings would look horrible with my cap and gown, but thank you for trying. I really appreciate you.

I’m trying my hardest, which we all do, but I’m being weighed down, and it’s as if I’m being shredded. As absurd as it sounds, imagine a young impressionable girl being picked at by college applications. There went a strip of energy. Picked at again by the FASFA. There went hope, again by the never-ending yet demanding workload from both school and a job. There went any sense of fun, and ALL THIS was only in October. Imagine how little positivity is left in me now – in May!

Four years of projects, all-nighters and just flat out STRESS. Four years of getting new friends and losing old ones. Four years of waiting for this last month of fun where I should be laughing and salivating for freedom.

Four long years. And now I’m here – stripped down to the core where I struggle to see much joy out of any of this.

I’m tired, and I could just be a pessimistic person, but pray for me, dear readers.

It’s not a matter of if I’ll get through this last month sanely, it’s just a matter of how.


Name changed to protect the innocent, or at least my job.*