Forging friendships senior year


Maddie Cloutier, co-a&e editor

When I was a junior, all of my friends were seniors. While I was finishing my junior year finals, my friends were all graduating. While I was enjoying my summer, all of my friends were filling out housing forms, finding roommates, and registering for college courses. While I was getting ready to return to the school that I had attended for the past three years, my friends were spread out around the country exploring new opportunities.

My friends who went to college kept in touch, but they were onto bigger and better things.

Going into senior year, I felt utterly alone.

Who would I eat lunch with? Who would I complain about classes with? Who would I spend time with over the weekends? These questions gnawed at me as I faced the beginning of my last year in high school.

It turned out that I had little need to worry. Though the first few weeks of school were difficult without the comfort of a familiar friend group, I found myself falling back on acquaintances that I never took the time to really get to know. Once I started putting in the effort, many of these acquaintances became friends who I could rely on. Through these friends, I was introduced to even more like-minded people, and I found my friend group expanding more than it had since freshman year.

That expansion didn’t end, either. As I jumped back into my extracurriculars, I began interacting g more with new and old members alike. I had grown so comfortable with my group in the past years that I neglected to forge connections with anyone else within these extracurriculars. During my first few weeks of senior year, though, I was forced to make these connections, especially with younger peers. This was for the better, as my new freshmen, sophomore, and junior friends offered me fresh perspectives on school and extracurricular activities, one that I hadn’t considered since I was their age.

Though I started my senior year feeling alone and hopeless, by November I found myself surrounded by a slew of new friends, many of whom felt just as meaningful and important to me as the friends that I had lost to college.

Without the drastic change of my old friends going to college, I never would have pushed myself to explore new friend groups and forge new connections. Without the loss of many of my friends, I never would have realized how amazing, welcoming, and interesting other people at this school are.

So, to my old friends, thank you for leaving me to face my senior year by myself (though I know that was never your intention). And to my new friends, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and for showing me the importance of new experiences.

I can only hope that my expedition into college will yield people as amazing as those that I’ve met these past four years, and I bet it will.