Our goal: To be seniors who make an impact
Feel the pressure? It's on. That's probably what every senior is beginning to feel as this school year speeds right along.
Principal John Lewallen told the seniors at New Life Christian High School about how he thinks we should stand up and become leaders: "It's the small things that count. You are seniors, which means regardless of what (the younger students) say, they look up to you. So if you slack off in the small areas, then they will slack off in the small areas," he said.
"Man, I never realized how much we can affect the atmosphere as a senior," Rachel Clark said.
I remember when I was a sophomore and all I could think about was graduation! I couldn't wait. I was so excited, and I would always say so to that year's graduating class.
One of the seniors from that year, Haley Waters, told me this: "Once you get (to your senior year), you will realize it's about a lot more than being the 'big bad seniors.' Being great seniors includes great responsibility."
In the back of a tiny office last month, as all eight of NLCHS's seniors sat making a couple hundred Pumpkin O' Grams for our school, we began to realize how big of a role we play.
Senior Sylvn Vieirra said, "I'm ready to stand up and accept the challenge of being a role model. I don't want to slack off." The rest of us agreed with him.
Despite the many petty arguments and pointless disagreements, we all seem to end up on the same page regarding what we think it will take for us to become great leaders, and that's a great start.
This year — our senior year — isn't about having as much fun as we can. It's about having as much impact as we can.
Senior Katrina Parker was teary-eyed as she explained how much she doesn't want to graduate. But she said, "If I do have to leave, I want at least to leave by proving that you can be a senior who can stand up and serve God — and even after I leave here that I can serve God. That's what I'm preparing myself for. That's what I want out of this year."
This is where we are at. We're willing to let go of being the "cool" seniors or the "funny" seniors. That's not the part we are trying out for.
If we can get just one person in our school to see that you can be a teenager in high school who can earn good grades, respect your school and serve God all at the same time, then it doesn't matter what kind of seniors we weren't, because we will have accomplished our one and only goal.
Leanna Whiteley is a senior at New Life Christian High School. Her column appears every six week in Education.