Tiger Times

Wake me up when senior year ends

Story by Langley Leverett, editor in chief

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I have stood on the cliffs of Nova Scotia, and walked on the dust of New Mexico. I have touched the waters of the Gulf, climbed the highest peak in Arkansas. I have seen the Manhattan skyline, glimpsed the sunrise high above the clouds. I have danced alone in the middle of a crowd, appreciated a long drive with nothing but a Pearl Jam CD for company.

I have felt the tears of a lost loved one, I have held the hand of a friend in need. I have driven 100 mph down the interstate, imagining myself crossing the finish line first. I have seen some of humanity’s greatest artworks, read the testimonies of survivors, touched the roads that have been traversed long before my time.

I have experienced the joy and pain of first love, watched a friendship triumph through time and bitterly witnessed a divorce. I have sat on the first pew with hands clenched and heart yearning for peace, heard the sermons of people who mean well, have prayed myself to sleep and have no doubt have foolishly asked God ‘Why?’.

I have loved with my whole heart, jumped into the waves with two feet in, cried spontaneously and accepted the unknown with one eye open. I have overlooked the value of a number, whether it be on a report card, a scale or even an age. I have learned that maturity is brought with experience, not an amount of time. And good Lord, have I mentioned that I have sung at the top of my lungs in the shower, not caring one bit who heard?

I wore my chucks to homecoming, my baseball cap to award assemblies and never ran out of excitement to go thrifting with my best friends. I have cherished all the late night Waffle House adventures, and drank an ungodly amount of coffee at midnight. I will most likely always pretend I can play the drums on my steering wheel, and continue to disillusion myself with the notion that I truly do know how to use a switchblade.

I have gained a profound sense of self worth, and I know how to say no without explanation, simply because I don’t owe anyone an explanation. I know what my limits are, I know what God I have, I know where my faith presides. I know the value of respect, of doing a job well done and I definitely know the meaning of ‘don’t spread yourself too thin,’ even though I will probably continue to do so. (I have always liked challenges.)

The past four years have been eventful, overwhelming, life-teaching and somewhere along borderline insane. I have lived, loved, grieved, rejoiced, laughed and embraced. Everytime I thought I was done, I picked myself right back up, and kept walking. My heart has been thrown around like a Texas football, my strength has grown weary, my wisdom has fallen short, many, many times. But, in the blunt words of Ernest Hemingway, ‘the sun also rises.’

So with all of this, embrace the confusion, embrace the ‘what if,’ and always keep your chin up. Accept the bitter truth even if it hurts, and make a good playlist so you can jam it out afterwards. High school is such a necessary blip in time, so don’t waste one precious second trying to perfect the instances of uncertainty. Don’t cringe from it, don’t run away from it. Welcome the possibility, welcome the changing times and for the love of all that is holy, take AP U.S. History.

High school is such a necessary blip in time, so don’t waste one precious second trying to perfect the instances of uncertainty.”

— Langley Leverett

Take the bad days and the good days in equal stride. Don’t hold back from the things you want to do in this life. Time is moving immensely fast; there’s no time for regret, no time for tears wasted on things that won’t change. Drink some coffee, and handle it. Don’t forget to smile. Don’t forget to say thank-you, don’t forget to tell your family that you love them. Love with grace, forgive with mercy and be kind to yourself. Times are stressful, and it’s okay to walk away when you need to.

Travel, appreciate the ocean and the skies and the ground under your feet. When you’re left empty-handed remember the moments that defined you, remember everything you have survived, and know in your heart that you have a purpose, you are loved and you are going to make it through.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Wake me up when senior year ends”

  1. Donna on June 4th, 2018 12:23 pm

    Always remember your choices can impact more than you realize at the moment. You are a beautiful young lady wise beyond your years. You will go through all these feelings and more in the years ahead. Hols close to Jesus. He will see you through it alll and He does have plans and purposes for your life. It may not feel good at the time or for a long time…but He will work it all for your good and His glory…..and always remember Mema will love you forever and me there to cheer you on or help you pick up the pieces

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