10/19/2011 09:33 am ET Updated Dec 19, 2011

Cheers to the Last Time We Do This

About two weeks ago my best friend Dee was beginning to get into what I call a "summer coma." As a student of summer she was preparing herself for the return to school, and not just any return, we were returning as seniors. To cheer her up, I reminded her about that saying on Facebook, "The best days of school are the first and the last." I also said " Dee, we're going to have so much fun, well... at least for the first week." I was not about to lie -- after three months spent on the beach, it was going to take time getting used to being back at school. She gave me this look and then said, "True, but that's just as depressing." I replied with "Que? Why is that sad, Dee?" and then before she said anything, I read her mind. It would be the last time we would ever have a "first week of high school." I decided to forget about the whole thing and focus on how excited I was. Since I could think about high school I had been itching to be a senior, and with the first week on the horizon, I had no time to be bummed about it. The first week sets the tone and now that this week is over I feel three ways about it.

First way: so in reality it's like every other first week of high-school; smooth, I find things are at the best and breeziest the first week. People are at their nicest because it's too early to start drama and the people that drive you bananas don't bug you as much because you have had a summer away from them. The teachers aren't in your face with the workload and for one week anything's possible. It's almost like "putting freshman year into one week."

The second way: having to admit to yourself that in about three weeks it's all going to be over, people go from shiny to slimy, your workload has doubled and drama is beginning to erupt around you and worst, summer is just a memory. Now I am used to feeling this way about the first week back and I am ready to expect that in two weeks I won't feel as pumped up, but then the third way happened to me and now I am an excited mess. It's not just another year, you're not just putting in your best effort. You're creating friendships and defining your character. The fact is that the prize of a good school year is a bitching summer. Your prize for senior year, though, is college, careers, the real world!!!! Not that as teens we don't live in the real world, because we do, but it's a world shaped like a fish tank. There's water in the tank and so you trick yourself into thinking you have gotten your feet wet but in the real world, that big scary world ... you don't have the same 25-ish people in your classes every day, turning in your work late can mean your job and the list goes on. For the first time in high school, you're not just thinking about that list, you're creating a list to propel you forward to the point where the list doesn't matter because life doesn't wait for you to cross things off. That list that never changes because it's the same every year and then all of a sudden it looks different, and it changes because you might change. It changes because all of sudden you want options that you never thought you would want. And then after this year the list is gone, after this year the fish bowl is broken open, and there is no box! So cheers to the year of "the last time will ever do this," cheers to the list changing and to the box breaking and cheers to the unexpected!!!!