With the tan lines beginning to fade, we once again find ourselves back in a familiar position.
Some students may find themselves amidst a new and expanding world, be they in Grade 8, entering the exciting world of high school, or college freshmen taking their first steps into the adult society.
Others, like myself, may find themselves approaching the final chapters in their high school — or educational — careers. However, the conclusion of such a monumental journey does not necessarily limit the widespread impact a year can continue to have after one’s departure.
Evidently, the senior year of any educational program is paramount compared to all others, but in distinctively different ways – namely, academic progress and personal progress.
It is obvious that in high school, senior students must demonstrate academic progress while completing their transition from adolescent to adult through course completion, university or job applications, and graduation. What is often overlooked, on the other hand, is the opportunity to demonstrate personal progress during this time.
One effect of being a senior is power and respect through experience (size often helps, as well).
And to quote one of my beloved heroes: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
As such, there is no better time than now to cement one’s legacy in their community as he or she is not only assisted by the respect of their peers, but also motivated through responsibility to aid those around him or her.
Thus, by leaving everything and everyone in a better state than when they were found, people can both demonstrate the degree of personal progress achieved over their educational careers and leave behind their legacy whereby people will continue to feel the effects of their actions.
For me, this year brings both felicity and sadness: felicity for my reunion with friends and the resumption of another year of challenges; sadness for its conclusion.
But for now, there is still precious time — time spent working on homework, laughing with friends, embarrassing myself, crying myself to sleep, and bonding with family. After all, isn’t that what high school life is?
Like every senior, I look forward to the encroaching day when I stand on stage in my cap and gown smiling while I pose for my graduation photo, diploma in hand. But that is only a single checkpoint.
The real achievement is in the journey. I look forward to running every weekly Model United Nations club meeting. I look forward to every biology, chemistry, and math class — every music, English, and history class, as well. Because I know that change is gradual and that life is gradual.
Change, positive or otherwise, reflects one’s legacy.
It seems that only yesterday that I found myself a callow Grade 8 student walking through the doors of my high school for the first time. This is truly a testament to the swift passage of time.
If I can give advice to my younger self, I would tell him: Leave everything in a better state than when you found it and you will elevate you, the environment, and the people around you.
David Wang is a student at Garibaldi secondary.