Firsts and Lasts


Corey Emery, Features Editor

We all remember our very first first day of school, that cool morning of September long since passed. As five-year-olds, school at that point seemed a daunting prospect. As the giant yellow bus roared around the corner, a sense of anxiety mixed with mysterious excitement boiled deep within our stomachs. Loaded with new backpacks, lunchboxes, books, markers, crayons, pencils, and pens, I can imagine that most, if not all of us, were for a second scared of the journey we were about to embark on. But when the bus stopped and the doors opened, we all climbed three giant steps and decided to come along for the most exciting ride of our lives.

Today, twelve years later, we once again come in for our first day of school, but with some changes. The buses are no longer the giants they once were, shrinking comparatively in size as we have grown. But most significantly, this is not just any first day of school. For me, and the approximately 600 other members of the senior class, this is our last first day of school; our last new schedule; our last cool September morning waiting for the ring of the 7:00 a.m. bell to send us shuffling to first period. It is the last time that we will walk through the doors of Ward Melville with that sense of anxious excitement that has marked every first day of school for the last decade.

This use of “last” creates a sense of finality in what has transpired today. This is going to be a year full of lasts, leading up to the pinnacle: our last last day of school, and soon after, graduation.

But despite this idea, we cannot let it dominate our thoughts. More so than this coming year is one of ending, it is a year of new beginnings. It is a year to make memories, because from every single “last,” we will derive a new pleasure in the form of appreciation for the times we had, rather than remorse for what we have lost. Despite the endless passage of time, we will make the most of each second that we are given.

Today will be viewed as a major transition in each of our lives, the beginning of the end of our high school careers. But until we turn our tassels in June, we are still a part of Ward Melville, and until then we are nowhere near done creating our own personal firsts among the lasts of the coming year.