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Final Footsteps: Chapter I

Looking Back on the Experiences of the First Chapter of Senior Year
Olly Murphy

As we start the 2023-2024 school year, this year’s seniors are excited to kick off their journey. They participated in many activities that marked the start of their final year at Tuscarora High School, such as senior parking spot painting, senior sunrise, and homecoming. Joelle Aheto and Emma Hecht are both current seniors at Tuscarora, and they are excited for the coming year. Both of the girls have been here at Tuscarora since freshman year, and both attended Smart’s Mill Middle School. 

As they finally arrive at their last year of high school, both of them feel similarly. “It feels surreal, in a way. I have been here for four years, and now I’m about to graduate.” Hecht remarks. Both of the girls have been here at Tuscarora since freshman year, and both attended Smart’s Mill Middle School. They have been a part of Loudoun County for their whole lives. Now, as they approach the end of their journey, they look back to remember all of their experiences in Virginia. “It feels surreal and bittersweet. Senior year is a pivotal moment in a lot of people’s lives, with college applications, and trying to figure out what we want to do in the next stage of our lives.” Aheto expresses. This part of the year entails college applications, which can mean a lot of stress for the students; however, it can also mean relief once the applications are completed. “I’m also excited to be done with college applications.” Aheto laughs. For students, college means the next step in life, and it is exciting to look at different prospects.

Being a senior means many activities that are only available for seniors. “Senior sunrise had a huge turnout and a lot of people went. It was a lot of fun. We had a pancake breakfast as well,” Aheto explains, “Painting out parking spots was also a fun moment, because it was the moment that everyone was waiting for. It was fun to see everyone’s creative ideas and artistic abilities. During PSAT day, seniors went into the gym and played games and had fun.” All of these activities listed are exclusive to the senior class, which makes it all the more special. Since they have been waiting for it since they were young, it is an extraordinary moment when it finally arrives.  

Both of these girls look back at their past years and how they have changed since then.  “It means a growing point from where I was freshman year, online, with a really small group of friends, and very quiet.” Hecht reminisces. “Now, I have a bunch of friends, and I have way more experiences than I did before. It just means growth.” Senior is such a pivotal moment in many students’ lives because of their previous experiences and how they relate to the present. They can recall all of their mistakes and successes, and use it to grow themselves as a person. The students get to figure out what they want to do in their lives and plan for it. They are able to expand their horizons and see the world by stepping out of the bubble. 

Stay tuned for the next Final Footsteps article as we follow these two individuals throughout their senior year! 

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