The Sweet and Sour: Life as a Senior
By Chelsea Chinedo
“The Sweet and Sour: Life as a Senior” is about the highs and lows I have faced thus far in my senior year that redefined my outlook of what senior year really is.
July 2021: Senior year is approaching… saying I’m excited does not give this feeling justice!
August 2021: I have the perfect idea for a college essay. I can’t wait to write it!
September 2021: The volleyball coach (also my honors geometry teacher) really wants me to try out for the volleyball team and I don’t want to let him down, but how am I going to balance maintaining valedictorian status, studying for the SAT, and applying for college while playing volleyball as well? It all seems to be so overwhelming!
October 2021: After being convinced by my coach, I tried out and made the volleyball team! I am feeling excited but I know I have many tasks to complete before the end of the year.
My dad asked, “Are you sure that you’ll have time for your studies? Sports are usually a big-time commitment.”
I responded confidently, “Yes, I definitely will!”
November 2021: “Practice is three days a week,” says my volleyball coach.
Maybe this was a mistake. I don’t have time for anything anymore. I’m just starting the college essay idea that I’ve been holding onto since August. What have I done? It’s November and I haven’t started anything regarding the college application process. I feel so behind!
December 2021: It’s time to take my last SAT exam and I’m convinced my score will be above 1300. I have a little less than a month left to get most of my college applications in, I got this!
January 2022: So not only did I not get above 1300 on my SAT, but I’m also working on supplements hours before their deadline. How did this happen? How did I go from being so ahead to being so behind?
“Supplements are things you need time to edit over and over again. What you produce right now might not be your best work,” my sister explained.
I can’t believe I’ve allowed myself to get to this point. Doing well on my college applications was one of the most important things to me. Was taking on volleyball a mistake? Was I focusing too much on studying for the SAT? Where did I go wrong?
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.
February 2022: I’m waiting to hear back from colleges. I’m excited but nervous at the same time.
I can’t tell you how this chapter ends because it’s not over yet, but I can tell you that even though things didn’t go as planned, I’m proud of my work! I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Rather than looking back at all the times where I felt I went wrong, I chose to make peace with the fact that they were simply obstacles; obstacles that everyone goes through. I am proud of my perseverance and that I’ve made it this far!
I’m grateful for the challenges that I’ve faced. They are helping to pave my path to success. Sure, my senior year hasn’t been what I expected so far, but that’s what made it fun!
I don’t regret joining the volleyball team; I’ve found a love for the sport. My only wish is that I started playing sooner.
As for college applications, I’m excited to see where I go. Will it be John Hopkins? Perhaps Yale? Who knows. I no longer feel stressed about which colleges will pick me. I’ve done my best through all of my high school years, and any college would be blessed to have me! My best is good enough. Why would I want to go to a college that doesn’t want me anyway?
Now that all the heavy stuff is out of the way, I’m excited to make the best out of my senior year. Senior pictures, senior trips, prom, graduation, all of it. Although I’m excited to move on to the next chapter of my life, I also know that I’m going to miss high school. It’s a bittersweet feeling.
Right now, I’m reminiscing about my journey and trying to embrace every second, every minute, and every hour of my senior year. I am counting down the days till I’m able to scream, “I graduated!”
Although I don’t know exactly what the future holds, I am optimistic that it will hold many amazing experiences.
So, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “If something is meant to be, it will happen.”
Going through the college application process and the many other things that come with senior year, I thought why not write about it? Other seniors could probably relate to a lot of the things I was feeling—like waiting anxiously to hear back from colleges. It’s easy to get anxious about the things that you have no control over, and I wanted other seniors to read my piece and be content with the fact that they did their best, and it’s now out of their hands. Nobody can take what’s meant for you. It took me a while to realize that. Seniors should want a school that wants them for who they are.
I journal sometimes, so I was able to capture certain moments and feelings within the first few months of my senior year. l learned that I enjoy writing things about my experiences that could potentially inspire others and have an impact on them.
Chelsea Chinedo is currently a junior in high school and she loves to explore different writing genres and get out of her comfort zone once in a while. She is a driven student that is always willing to learn and improve in any way she can. She enjoys dressing up, doing makeup looks, having fun with family and friends and watching Netflix!