Learning to Live in the Present: Senior Year Edition

October 10, 2022
Ruthie Zeidman

Portland, Oregon, United States

Class of 2023

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Somehow senior year is upon me and I’m honestly still convinced I’m a freshman. Where did time go? It feels like only yesterday my mom was taking me to my first BBYO meeting and now I’m driving myself to the local Jewish Community Center every Tuesday, as I sing along to Beyonce. Overall, the beginning of senior year was weird and now it’s October, which is even weirder. Between college applications, BBYO, work, school, and other extracurriculars, it feels like I’ve just missed an entire month. How can I make time slow down? Or, if I can’t slow time, how can I be more present?

As someone who loves to plan ahead I always have one foot in the future. This week, during homeroom, I thought about how much I was going to miss it next year. I loved going to the same classroom to sit at the same table with the same people every morning. On Fridays, we would even have “Music Friday” where we would blast music until homeroom was over. I looked around at my friends and started to wallow. I was excited for college but what would my weekday mornings look like then? As I continued through my day, I started to notice all the different pieces that made up my normal school experience, from running to Starbucks during break to laughing with my classmates when our teacher pulled out the karaoke machine to enjoying the sunshine during my free period. Once I was home, I tossed my backpack and went to read and eat Cheerios on my back porch. All of these aspects aren't especially important or meaningful, but they’re little moments that I can’t imagine not experiencing.

Reflecting on this has made me realize how important these moments are to me and that I should call them out to my friends. Maybe during homeroom I’ll mention how special it is that we get to spend time together every morning. Or during class I can whisper to a classmate, “Don’t you love how our teacher makes time for fun?” I could simply just put my phone down during lunch and take in the unusual October sun. Either way, pointing out the beauty in these small moments will not only give you a chance to appreciate them, but give an opportunity for the people around you to acknowledge them too.

Another way I’m savoring the present is by writing about it. By sharing what I appreciate about my current day-to-day life with you all, I’m able to recognize what is truly important to me right now. I’m not into journaling, but if you are, I’d suggest journaling once a week (or even once a month!) about small, but important, moments in your life. Appreciate those little things! I will probably end up taking my own advice and start a little senior year journal. My friends and I have also been using the “1 Second Every Day” app to record little videos that will be put together into a video at the end of the year for us.

However, sometimes things are happily memorable, and sometimes things are rough and all you want is for the year to end. Believe me, I have plenty of those. I’ve learned over the years that having hard times is part of being present because once you’ve gotten through it, you realize how strong you really are and that can be motivation to work to appreciate the good moments even more.

At the end of the day, senior year is a lot. It’s a busy year with lots of beginnings and endings. It’s fun and difficult and a bundle of emotions all wrapped into the last year of high school. Embrace it! I’m going to try and I hope you will too. I’ll leave you with this: as they say in Kung Fu Panda (a great movie with some great lines I might add), “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That's why we call it 'the present’”. So go! Live in the present and enjoy this precious time.

Ruthie Zeidman is a BBG from Portland, OR, and her passions include inclusivity, Judaism, writing, volunteering, listening to music, watching too many movies, and laughing (and BBYO of course).

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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