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The Finish Line

Senior year is like the final lap of a relay race

by Published: Apr 12, 2012

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