The Meaning of Senior

By Meriem Cherif 

Ever since I stepped through the gates of Westmont, the title of “Senior” held a mystical, breathtaking essence. “The Seniors,” in my eyes, represented the upper crust of Westmont High School. Always carrying an effortless demeanor, they walked into class with a cup of coffee in one hand and car keys swinging on the other. “The Seniors” dominated the school grounds, donning fashionable outfits with poise that never crossed the line of arrogance. 

Since I’m a senior, I’ve probably achieved this ideal that I’ve formed from years of underclassman observation, right? Wrong. I don’t drink coffee, I can’t drive, and I can hardly say I’ve dominated campus after stepping foot on it only once this year. My senior experience has been a far cry from the one I’ve been dreaming about since I was in middle school. Ensuingly, I’ve had to adjust its definition to fit my reality.

So, what does it really mean to be a Senior? Unfortunately for my class, it can’t be defined by the traditional in-person events spent with peers; but this comes with a silver lining. When you strip away rallies, football games, and dress-up days, what remains in senior year is the most important thing of all: the people. 

Losing most of the traditional high school experience as a senior has allowed me to fondly look back at the seemingly “regular” experiences of my previous years, and the people I spent them with. As a Freshman, the swimming unit in P.E. brought hours of fun as my friends and I splashed around with no worries. I’ll never forget sophomore year when my peers and I ran around campus with Mr. Marshall, chasing down the pizza guy after a practice AP test. Every Friday, my friends and I attended Mr. Sessions’ Meditation Club, calming our minds in the soothing ambience of his dark classroom. And of course I can’t forget debate, where we shared more laughter than research during weekly practices.

Even recently, I’ve found pockets of my “senior experience” amidst the unconventional year. Completing the Writer’s Preamble for AP Lit, holding socially-distanced picnics with friends, and reciting speeches for online tournaments have kept the spirit of senior year alive.

As my senior year—and high school experience—comes to an end, I look back on these years with a bittersweet satisfaction. I’ve created unbreakable bonds, and learned from the best mentors—what more do you need in high school? So now, looking toward the looming beast that is college, I know one thing for sure: this senior year was one for the books.