And Off They Go | Aerin Flaharty

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been dreading the day of June 11, 2021 since the start of this school year. Not because you’re a senior or because you’re really going to miss online school (two things I am definitely not), but because you have to force yourself to do something that isn’t just hard, but heartbreaking: saying goodbye to the seniors. 

We begin in early August of 2019. I was 15 years old when I came to CCA, and fresh out of my first year of high school at “the school down the road”. The first thing I did was join the volleyball team here at CCA, where I was overwhelmed with warm welcomes and upperclassmen to immediately take me under their wings. Soon I would learn that I had more than just a couple friends who were a grade or two above me, I had a couple friends a grade or two above me that would eventually become the older sisters I never had. I would learn which classes to avoid, how to not end up in the wrong classroom, which hype songs to learn, and so much more. And lucky for me, I wouldn’t just be starting a new school, I would be starting an unforgettable journey. 

The older teammates that had once looked intimidating and scary turned out to be the exact opposite. Those once strangers turned into friends that I adventured, cried, sang, played sports with and more than anything, looked up to. We’ve all heard of these younger and older grade friendship dynamics, but for those who have personal experience in one know exactly how special that friendship is and how hard it is to have to even fathom letting go. How will we survive on our own? Who will drive us off campus next year? How will we be able to fill even the tiniest sliver of the space they so wonderfully took up? Who’s going to take their jersey number next season? Who’s going to help with the homework next year? Will I remember to bring tissues to their graduation? 

I know that I’m not the only one who’s going to struggle with learning how to say goodbye to the seniors. What makes this school so special and saying farewell to our upperclassmen friends so hard is the community that it was built on. “Stay weird CCA” really becomes more than just a saying when you’re blasting songs from The Greatest Showman soundtrack in the car with friends, but still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Letting go is easier said than done. Everyone’s on a timer in high school. Four years is all we’re given. And while my timer isn’t up just yet, I know that in 17 days someone else’s is. 

It’s hard to know how I will replace these ever so lively spirits, if that’s even possible, or how I will continue to shine their legacy through my own skin. But what I do know is what they’ve taught me, and that if I have the ability to transform into even just a fraction of what they were to me, someone else will be very happy with me as their guardian angel. And while I can’t go back in time to my past memories with the seniors, what I can do is sit back and proudly watch them accomplish the many things that are ahead in their bright futures, starting with them moving their tassels from right to left. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *