For Bronx Science students in their first and second year, graduation seems like a distant daydream that requires little consideration. However, to the seniors who are wrapping up the college process and now stare down the barrel of responsibility and independence, or the juniors who, when taking the SAT or ACT, cannot help but feel a sense of dread at the prospect of sending these scores to colleges, graduation is a grave reality that cannot be ignored.
At no other point in our lives do we anticipate greater change; saying goodbye to our childhood homes and picking up and leaving a place and time where many of us found our closest friends and memories is a jarring prospect, bound to stir up some strong emotions. So before we leave, we owe it to ourselves to find the best ways to enjoy our limited time left at Bronx Science so that we can all graduate a little more content and optimistic about the future. This is, unfortunately, much easier said than done.
Eytan Stanton ’19 is one such senior who is grappling with his dwindling time left as a high school student. Stanton found the most difficult part of high school to be the work, saying that he “will not miss this academic struggle.” As a college applicant, Stanton was also forced to choose whether he wanted to stay in New York or experience a new city, a difficult decision for some seniors. “I dislike cold winter days. For this reason, I applied to quite a few California schools,” he said. “At the same time, I love New York City and I hope to return after I get a much needed four years in the sunshine.”
While he notes that the academic rigor of Bronx Science is, obviously, a lot of work, Stanton says that he also found the difficulty of school work unifying: “As odd as it sounds, I will miss being part of a fixed cohort of students that are all going through the same difficult classes and the college process,” he said.
“As odd as it sounds, I will miss being part of a fixed cohort of students that are all going through the same difficult classes and the college process,” Eytan Stanton ’19 said.
If he could do it all over, he said he would have “cared a little bit less about every grade, study a bit less, and relaxed more.” He also wishes that he was not so intimidated by new people, “because most of the time, they are just as self-conscious or anxious as you are.”
Juniors also often find themselves thinking about their futures, being close to their final year at Bronx Science. Alea Strasser is one of these juniors. “Most of my friends are seniors here at Bronx Science and my boyfriend is a senior at Brooklyn Tech,” she said. “I am really going to miss them next year.”
Strasser says that she is excited to move on from high school to begin her adult life. “I am really looking forward to being a senior and graduating, [and I am] somewhat already feeling senioritis,” she said. “I would say I know a decent amount about the college process, but I still have so much I need to learn and do. I know that we will have to work on our college essay, supplements, and getting recommendations and raves.”
However you may feel about graduation, we can all agree that high school makes us lose perspective. We see our next history test, the speech we have to give in English, or college admissions decisions, and our view shrinks to what is in our immediate future. That is what is so daunting about graduation: compared to our thus far trivial daily events, it is the one that we cannot predict or see past. It forces us to zoom out and consider our lives on a much larger scale than we are used to, and it can feel daunting.
To prematurely call graduation an “ending,” however, in our lives that will likely stretch for most of a century, is wrong and self-defeating. When we take our last 4 train ride to school, order our last chicken burrito from Jay’s, hand in our last math worksheet, and “dap up” our friends in the hallway for the last time, we will not just be leaving, but continuing the journey that we have all been on since we were born, and that will not end until we die. And whether you are a ninth grader or a senior, there is always time to enjoy what today has left to offer.