I guess this means goodbye. As you leave for your respective colleges and careers, following your hopes and dreams, the Class of 2013 looks to you with a sense of both thankfulness and sadness. You, the Class of 2012, have been the greatest mentors and role models someone could ever ask for, and being taught by you has been an experience unlike any other.
Between any two grades, the greatest amount of mentoring and learning is passed from a Senior Class to a Junior Class, and rightfully so. While freshmen and sophomores both gain outstanding experiences from their respective mentors, there is something special about the transition to becoming seniors, the final evolutionary step in forming the leaders of the school. After a year of being mentored by the Senior Class, I am surprised to discover not only the extent to which I value the lessons I’ve learned, but more importantly, the level to which I appreciate those who have mentored me.
My surprise to how much I value this Senior Class stems from how differently I had imagined the transitional process. Initially, this passing down of responsibility from seniors started as a mechanical process, a required step that must be completed. Here on the HiLite staff, for example, senior editors would teach me, a junior reporter, how to take on their jobs for next year. While this process started as a required step, a chore, something that must be done, the transitional process became something much more connected. It was no longer just the passing of skills and steps: how to set the text wrap, where to place a photo. It became the passing of experiences and lessons, an unspoken message of “you’re taking over now; make me proud.”
Even outside of the HiLite, my other didactic experiences with seniors have produced similar effects. Whether it be getting help in math class or even talking to a senior on how to prepare for the joys of college applications, I have felt an obligation to impress, a necessity to not disappoint. I feel almost as if because this senior is taking the time to share his knowledge, it is my responsibility to follow that advice without fail. For me, this transfer of responsibility builds a connection, and these connections are what I will miss.
When the Class of 2012 graduates and departs, I will be losing my greatest role models. Thinking back on how many seniors I share classes with, how many seniors I talk to on a daily basis, and how many seniors I have become friends with, I realize how much of an impact this graduating class has had on me. This year’s Senior Class has been one of the highest level of character and achievement, and I am lucky to be able to call them my mentors.
The wide scope of seniors I am referring to stretches from those I have met once and held one conversation with to the one’s whom I’ve known for years. The smallest experiences sometimes have the greatest impacts. Next year will be a very different experience, and I will miss all those who have taught and mentored me. I wish all of you the best of luck in what you pursue in your futures, and I know that what you have taught me will be more than enough to help me continue on alone.