By Lindsay Der

Like most of the things I’ve completed these past four years, I’ve put off writing this reflection until the very, very last minute. I’m a procrastinator at heart; it’s what I do best. In fact, over the course of high school, I’ve experienced many late nights and early mornings in an attempt to complete work that I should have done days or weeks before. Those 4 a.m. bed and/or wake-up times never quite taught me my lesson, since, by the time the next big assignment came around, I always seemed to miraculously forget how horribly tiring it is to complete days worth of work in one night. 

Freshman year, though I learned sentence patterns, the structure of the cell, the preterite tense of Spanish and trigonometry (somewhat),  I never learned how to complete my work in a timely fashion. Even after the enormous force of the sophomore year SHARP, which, despite the strict timeline, I still rushed to finish last minute, I continued to procrastinate. While junior year zoomed by, it had no hope of halting my horrible habits as my teachers’ empathetic leniency only fueled my raging lack of motivation.

This reflection, however, has been pushed aside for an entirely different reason than every other assignment or responsibility. Instead of stress or poor time management (most often stress due to poor time management), the reason I struggled to complete this assignment was fear. Recently, I have been an emotional wreck, tearing up at the mention of prom, graduation, summer and anything related to my end of high school. When Andy Evans asked us to take a mirror to these past few years and write about the “good times, tough times,” I shrank in my chair. I knew this assignment would have me bawling like a baby as I attempted to translate my sobs into something legible. So, like my SHARP, prom dress, countless essays and anything else that stressed me out just to think about, my reflection was pushed to the safety of the back of my mind. 

I didn’t want to examine all the good and tough memories I’ve acquired these past four years. I didn’t want to “reflect” on my experiences because you only reflect on things once they’re over and I’m not done with high school yet. I still have more classes to listen to Eric Buran lecture about financial literacy (and stupidity in the world), more lunches to fight other students over a table, more breaks to eat the school bagels in the middle of the quad and more study halls to use not so effectively. The thought of experiencing the last of each of those is terrifying.

Logically, I know that the end of the year will pass by just as quickly whether or not I completed this reflection. Either way, I have to live every one of the lasts of high school, walk across the stage at graduation, and say goodbye to each of my classmates, classrooms and teachers. To the school I’ve called home these past four years, I wish I could put off saying goodbye forever. But I’ve received my cap and gown and selected my graduation seat. Not completing this reflection, unfortunately, cannot delay the inevitable. Still, it just wouldn’t be right unless I completed my last assignment in high school the same way I completed the others: just barely on time.