Madeleine Stiffler’s Semester Off

By Madeleine Stiffler 

Sweet senior year, I recall being present the first semester… but second semester… where did I go? If anything, I was taking notes from one of my favorite movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which the beloved main character Ferris Bueller states “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I really took that personally, and my second semester attendance showcased that. However, this reflection isn’t about me vanishing from school, rather what I learned in my time away. 

The concept of graduating from high school seemed like a fairytale freshman year, but now that I’m here it is bittersweet. There is a strange feeling of leaving behind the environment which I have spent the last four years in and frankly, I have yet to fully comprehend the notion. Looking back on high school, I honestly don’t have many complaints or dramatically bad times to reflect on, so I kind of lucked out. Senior year is a bit of a trip, everyone grows into their final form before embarking on the daunting adventure of college. People I knew freshman year, who I never expected to become friends with, have become my bestest of friends by chance. This year has undoubtedly brought everyone together and the sense of unity amongst my graduating class remains gratifying. 

While broadening my views of high school and understanding the life lessons I have received from Westmont besides the state required curriculum,  my experience has become so much more worthwhile. I have gained mentors I hope to look up to throughout my life, continue to  learn lessons that shape me into a young adult, and find it easier to appreciate the fun moments that come and go on a daily basis. Although the second semester of my senior year was plagued by senioritis, I can happily look back on my past four years of high school with admiration and contentment. Life does move pretty fast, but I can say with certainty that I stopped to look around once in a while and learned the most valuable lessons in and outside of the classroom: show up for class and befriend your teachers, but don’t be afraid to get out there and live a little and take necessary risks.