Letter from the Editors — March 2021

Supposedly, we have made it to the promised land: second semester senior year. As we approach our final weeks of high school, we now have the distinct privilege of finally enjoying a season where nothing matters nearly as much as it used to, according to scores of past seniors and the skip days and missed assignments that trailed in their wake. It feels like yesterday that we were the juniors muddling through a sea of schoolwork, grimacing at the impending pain of the college application process. Honey-coated tales of second semester senior year seemed too good to be true, a carrot on a string dangled by the school system to ensure that stress-sick students didn’t actually drop out. 

While our grades haven’t magically rounded to 100s this semester, we have found ourselves with some extra time to reflect upon the past four years and our current state of limbo as we await college. 

As washed up seniors, it is our civic duty to emphasize to you how quickly high school goes by. It is crucial to use this time to truly explore your interests and passions through the resources around you. These four years are an ideal time for academic and personal exploration, whether this means taking electives that pique your curiosity, creating time for friends and family, or prioritizing the activities that spark the most joy. Many gripe about the structured nature of high school, but the organization of the Westminster experience enables each person to forge their own pathway without getting completely lost in the woods. Lean into that privilege.

Out of fear of sounding like your fourth-grade teacher on every field trip ever, we wish to avoid the phrase “live in the moment.” Nonetheless, please live in the moment. Try to enjoy every day, even when they may feel overwhelming and endless — they’re not. Eventually, your four years will come to a close, and if the reality of second semester senior year doesn’t live up to the fantasy you have constructed, you will not have many fond memories to look back upon. Don’t wait until senior year to have fun, to relax, to be happy, and to do what you want. The reward of second semester senior year does not become sweeter for three years of immeasurable and incurable self-imposed pain; it is just as enjoyable with three years of intentional living.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there is beauty in the mundane, normal aspects of life. If you elect to save all of the fun for senior year, you will miss the hidden joys of each day. Savor the rare “chicken tenders for lunch” days with friends, the hours spent commiserating and laughing in study rooms across campus, the days when the bookstore gummies taste just a bit better, the feeling of accomplishment as you step off campus having completed your exams, and the teachers that become mentors for your long-term success. And please, take a break when you need one!

Your happiness is more valuable than any letter grade, GPA point, or final score, which often float far beyond your control. College decisions are made in a matter of minutes by individuals you most likely will never meet; these results do not define you. Your grades, curved in relation to the work of your classmates, do not define you. You define yourself in the in-between hours spent studying, laughing, and developing habits that ensure happiness and success. The effort that you invest in each task infinitely outweighs the result, as it shapes the person you will be in college and beyond. If you choose to prioritize experiences rather than outcomes, you will come away from these four years with an abundance of lessons, friendships, and fond memories.

Above all, you are capable of more than you think, so don’t be afraid to try something new and reach out to seasoned experts for advice. While we advocate against peaking in high school, we do encourage you to make the most of it. If you have dreamed of joining the squash team since your Middle School P.E. class, do it. If you hope to someday play alongside Westminster musicians in the orchestra or band, pick up a new instrument. If you want to report for the most esteemed high school newspaper on the East Coast (the Bi-Line, of course), send in an application and give it a try. 

As we begin to wrap up this school year, we urge you to enjoy each moment and live each day to the fullest. Hint: you can do both by enjoying the March issue of the Bi-Line. See you next month!

Your head editors, 

Julia and Sarah