Deja Vu: Why I Chose to Repeat Senior Year

Yes, it was my choice. No, I don't regret it. You'll know why.

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Andy Campagna, Unmotivated Pseudo-Journalist

“Hey, weren’t you a senior last year?”

“Wait, didn’t I see you last year?”

“Why are you still going here? Didn’t you graduate?”

These are just a few of the different things people have asked me since the first day of school this year. A surprising variety of people, too. Friends, teachers, former classmates, and even a few people I’ve only had a few, if any, interactions with. People I barely know at all are curious of my situation. All the conversations I have with people on why I came back are actually satisfying and pleasant, if a little unnerving (that being said, I’ve always been a slightly anxious person).

As much as I love talking about the fact that I’m a super-senior, I’d like to explain myself a little bit to those who haven’t exactly been able to know my full story, or maybe to those who don’t know me and would like to know what’s up. Maybe your questions will be answered. Maybe it might help you figure yourself out a little bit. Or maybe you just need something to read while using the restroom, so you don’t have to suffer through doing that English essay on chapters X through Y in the book you didn’t read last night; I’m not judging.

Before I ramble on for however many paragraphs about how I was supposed to graduate but didn’t, let me go in-depth about what I’m talking about. I was a senior last year. That means I was supposed to graduate this past June… but I didn’t. Most of you will probably assume this was caused by sub-par academic performance, and that’s often how the story goes, but that’s not the case for me. I actually chose to do it over again. I made the conscious decision to come back.

It all starts at around sophomore year, easily my roughest year at GHS. In the midst of a loss of all direction, the skepticism and anxiety were getting to me. I was lost and scared. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. The desire to drop out of high school grew on me due to poor academic performance and the loss of ability to do any of my assignments. This started an avalanche of concerns for the future that would consume me for the duration of my academic career. Even today, to a certain extent.

At some point early on in my first senior year, I learned that staying back another year wouldn’t hurt me that much, socially or academically, given that I had more fears of college than dreams and most of my friends were, at the time, either sophomores or juniors. On top of that, I had a weird blend of emotions regarding my peers in the class of 2016. It was some bizarre mixture of fear, respect, admiration, acquaintanceship, resentment, disdain, paranoia, appreciation, and acceptance. In my opinion, the fact that I got along as well as I did with as many former peers as I did, to this day, is quite admirable, if a little unusual. But this realization stuck with me, never leaving the back of my head for the rest of the year.

Then one day, in the weeks before senior finals, I was struck with a sudden, massive dose of anxiety. I was ready to graduate and leave, but at what cost? What was I to do once I was gone? I knew I wasn’t ready to graduate, but this was something I ignored for the longest time in hopes it would go away. But it was too much. I couldn’t take it any more. One meeting with Ms. LaFond later, and I was prepping myself for another year here. She and I both agreed it was the best thing for me, and I’m proud to report she was right.

And now I’m here again. While college, and just the future in general, is something that worries me a lot (and this election sure isn’t helping), I will admit that I’m now infinitely better off now than I was six months ago, or at least it feels that way. Yeah, sure, some of that was a series of coincidences, but I’m happier, have more friends, love all my classes and I even have an idea of what to do after I actually graduate. I’m more confident in my future than I ever have been before! Things couldn’t possibly be any better for me than they are now, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Unless, of course, another way involves several million dollars, but that’s different.

So that’s my story. My legacy. I stayed back another year by choice because I wasn’t ready to leave yet and my life has since become exponentially better. Other factors were at play, but that’s the jist of what happened. I don’t regret this decision for a single minute, and I’m proud of that. I encourage this decision to anybody who ever ends up in the same position I was in just a few short months ago. Trust me, it’s a huge stress reliever, and the right mix of classes can also help greatly towards leaving high school on a high note.

And with that, I leave you with a quote from one of the greatest movie characters of all time: the one and only Mr. Ferris Bueller

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”