Everything is changing and I really don’t fucking like it.

On Friday, the seniors left for the “Career Internship Program,” a parting gift from the school administration, in which 12th graders spend six weeks shadowing adults in their real-world jobs. For most seniors, this actually entails a very small amount of time filing and a much larger amount of time partying and sleeping. For me, this entails the realization of three things, which I shall detail below.

1. I am a senior soon, which means college soon, which means the end of all I currently know, soon. So far, the most significant educational and social transitions of my life have been “moving up” from 5th and 8th grade. When you are done with high school, there is no “moving up.” There is GRADUATION. Once high school is over, although a lot of people go on to be coddled for another four years by small liberal arts colleges (which I’ll be doing for sure), it’s GO time. I’d prefer an elongated yellow, please.

2. I took my time with the seniors for granted. Because they were all only a year older than me, I always assumed friendships with them could be established in some future time, and put it off. Now all of the people I’d platonically admired are gone from the hallways. (This is my own personal reverse The Perks of Being a Wallflower.) There’s also something oddly comforting about not being “top dog.” Of course being “top dog” is the greatest feeling in the world, but it comes with a lot of responsibility—to be cool, rebellious, a leader. I can’t be burdened with such expectations.

3. There are no cute boys left in the school. None. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me next year.

So what am I going to do about this? Stop thinking about it. Genuinely. In order for me to fully appreciate what little time I have left to be a kid/be a kid comforted by the existence of older kids/to be a kid comforted by the existence of older kids who are cute boys, I just have to live in this time. Be present.

Next year is going to be weird and maybe bad, but I hope I’m an improved version of myself, because adolescence is all about gradual improvement and self-realization. And with the metaphorical end of my adolescence fast approaching, maybe my strife doesn’t come from the departure of my older peers, but rather my own fear that I won’t adapt fast enough. ♦