The First of the Lasts

by Natalie Pucillo ’15

me and si
The author, Natalie, at right

I don’t know about the rest of my sisters of pink and orange, but I walked into the first day of school absolutely terrified.

It wasn’t that I thought I was going to get lost; three years of navigating the halls kept me feeling confident about my ability to make it from band to English.

It wasn’t the thought of my classes; even the idea of AP Music Theory wasn’t freaking me out quite as much as I thought it was going to.

It wasn’t even that I thought I was going to confuse a new class of freshman with last year’s seniors because of their blue nametags.

No, the reason I was terrified was that I knew that day, August 26, was the beginning of the end.end 1

Everyone always says that the years of high school fly by quickly, but I didn’t realize exactly how quickly until I walked through the hallways on that first day of my senior year. I watched the freshmen nervously traversing through the halls with their pristine blue dresses and bright white saddle shoes. When I looked down, I noticed my faded uniform and my dirty saddles and realized that I wasn’t ever going to be that freshman again. Everything was still new and exciting to those girls. They still weren’t sure how to read their schedules, no one was quite certain what a mod was, and I even overheard one girl asking a friend if they could go back to Middle Level, because it was so much easier when all of her classes were on one floor!

Class of 2015’s artistic gifts on display at Gym Meet

Some things about being a senior are definitely better—I can hang out with my friends in the senior lounge, I’m able to get to each of my classes without getting lost, and I know who all of the teachers are, even if I’ve never had him or her previously. But in the same sense, I’m never going to have a repeat of that first moment when I realize how good the cafeteria’s French fries are.

I’m not about to experience my first Gym Meet—I’m about to go through my last. I’m filling out college applications and preparing audition materials, with a clear realization that I might be in another state at this time next year. I have to start mentally preparing myself for the “lasts” of NDP as these girls are preparing for “firsts,” and I don’t know a single girl in my class who isn’t freaked out about some aspect of this process.girls

As many of you know, NDP’s theme this year is Embracing Umoja—embracing unity. For me, embracing that unity means that even though I know that the Class of 2015 will go our separate ways on May 27, I also know that we are always going to be one in spirit. We won Penny Queen three times—an unprecedented amount. We excelled at aerobics during Gym Meet sophomore and junior year. We are there for each other, through laughter and tears, through rejection letters and scholarship winnings, and through everything else that senior year will (2)

The 1,115 days of high school so far have been the best days of my life, and I’m very sad to know that we only have 254 days left, as of the day I’m writing this article. Nonetheless, I’m confident in myself, in my friends, and in our ability to conquer all of the struggles that our senior year will bring.

I know that this year will hold the best days of my life, because I’ll get to spend it with 149 of my best friends.

The end

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