The finish line

Senior year is like the final lap of a relay race

The gunshot went off. Their feet started moving. They all ran so fast. Then it was my turn. I was the final leg of the team. I could make or break the success of the relay. As soon as the baton hit my hand, I ran faster than I ever had before, feeling as if someone was chasing me.

I rounded the corner of the track only to realize I was ahead of everyone else. That is when I realized our team could win. I ran faster until I crossed the finish line. My mile relay team broke our school record that day. I finished my lap in a minute and nine seconds.

Now, looking back at that moment, it was one of my greatest athletic achievements. I had practiced and trained so hard to help beat the record and with the support of my team, I crossed the finish line.

But after that year, I stopped running. Instead I focused on other activities like choir, student government and tennis. Then in college I focused on my academics, event planning and writing. Even though I don’t run anymore, breaking the track record was a moment I’ll think about from time to time, especially as I’m nearing graduation. It’s my final “lap” to graduation. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree will be my greatest academic achievement and I can’t wait.

Students invest so much time into college, yet not everyone finishes. That would be like dropping the baton at the end of the race. I wish no one would ever drop out of college, even if it takes years to complete their degree.

According to an article from the New York Times and the Fiscal Times, almost three million students enroll in higher education each year and two out of five students finish their four-year bachelor’s degree in six years. Six years is a long time to be invested in school, but even if your college degree takes you 10 years to complete, keep going until you finish.

College is stressful. So to all of those who are close to graduating, don’t let it slip away. Seniors have less than a month left to prepare resumes, lock in a job and end with a decent grade point average. Don’t get sucked into senioritis because senior year is exactly like the final lap in a relay race. There is so much pressure to succeed and put our degrees to good use. The feeling of earning a degree after years of studying and networking is tremendous. Let’s work hard in this last month to cross the finish line. n