Senior Column — Kylie Ha ’22


Kylie Ha, Editor-in-Chief

If there’s one thing that high school has taught me, it’s the austere reality of life’s brevity. In retrospect, perhaps this is the first time where I’ve quietly reflected on my past four years. 

I’ve never had an ounce of sadness or a fleeting sense of bitter-sweetness at any point up to this moment. Since Aug. 11, 2021, my preliminary thought was, “I cannot wait to be done.” I’m looking back on everything I’ve done since the beginning of my freshman year, and it’s safe to say that I was just another incoming student in 2018 with the same wide-eyed naiveté as everyone else around me. 

I joined things I was interested in (or so I thought): playing flute for the marching band and writing as a freelancer for what was previously remembered as The Apache Pow Wow. Generally speaking, I was comfortable with where I was at besides my struggle with grasping geometry concepts. 

Sophomore year was a blur, because as we know it, 2020 was barely a real school year. I spent the last half of my year sitting in front of a laptop, drearily logging into Zoom and Google Meets, and holed up in my room. Things were even simpler.

I was in no rush to get back to in-person learning because I was worried most about who I’d sit with at lunch. That small nagging thought, which had started in the back of my mind during my freshman year, continued to grow and grow. Soon, it was the only thing I could think about, and the reason why I believe I was so eager to get senior year over with. 

I continually wished that each day would finish up a little quicker so I would be able to be done once and for all, but now, I am just shy of nine days before I graduate on June 3, 2022. 

It’s fascinating to see how feelings can quickly change, which for me was when I started getting the steady flow of email notifications for graduation, cap and gown pickups, graduation night, baccalaureate ceremony, and senior week.  

My freshman self could never believe I had three more years, but my second semester senior self now cannot believe that four years has just passed by in such a fleeting, ungraspable flash.

The biggest thing I find myself most grateful for is the very reason I was so despondent about my senior year. When I struggled with sitting alone at lunch, I wouldn’t have known that in a couple months, I would make friends simply by eating lunch and conversing with students with autism. Week after week, there was a newfound excitement that I got to share with them. They’re equally as elated to see me at lunch, to wave a big hello in the busy hallways, to take group selfies to show family, and to tell me about how I’d love their dogs. The impacts they’ve had on me through the art of conversations—exchanging trivia of every animal A-Z, of colorful shirts, and of cartoons—will stay with me for a lifetime. 

If I can pinpoint that small emotion growing in my heart each day from the time I write this, it very well may be wistfulness. I wish I hadn’t focused so much on the outside issues, because as I know now, everything works out in its course. 

Now though, I’m more than imbued to carry this little piece of knowledge with me to my next approaching chapter. Put into a new environment, I know that I will cherish every single moment I am presented with, because before I know it, another four years will pass by before I can even take it in.