I am not a sentimental person. I am too young to experience nostalgia and I don’t often stop to ponder the passage of time. I look towards the future and am always thinking about what is coming next in my life whether it is next week, month or year.

I do not rest on my laurels or mourn my defeats. However, I am starting my senior year of high school tomorrow which some may argue is the most sentimental and nostalgic time of a person’s life.

When I look back on my high school career and think of the little girl I was when I first entered those hallowed halls I feel a mix of excitement and pity for her. She will face great fires and triumphs. She will laugh, cry, and scream.  She will evolve in ways she could never expect to.

I am not exactly sure what a ‘normal’ high school experience is supposed to look like, but I’m pretty positive I didn’t have one. I’ve spent almost every Saturday at ballet rehearsals in Huntsville.

While my peers in Scottsboro were relaxing, working or partying I was perfecting the choreography of Swan Lake. I do not regret dancing in high school, even during the grueling hours, injuries and emotional turmoil, I loved every second of it. I now truly understand the phrase, ‘blood, sweat and tears.’

I have shed all three on numerous occasions. Sometimes my life has felt like a train that-I’m technically engineering-is running down the tracks at one hundred miles per hour.

But the truth is that I do know how to slow down or even stop the train and refuse simply for the thrill of the ride.

Relaxing is a skill I have yet to hone or enjoy. Even my body physically carries tension unconsciously.

But right now, I am stopping the train to try to relax and look back. The books I have read and people I have met have over the past three years have changed me for the better.

Reading Shakespeare and shouting chants at pep rallies have both had an equal and profound impact on my psyche. In 10 years, when I look back on my years spent at Scottsboro High School.

I wonder if I will feel nostalgia. I hope so. Will the older version of myself think I am silly and childish, or wish that I hadn’t been so serious at the mere age of seventeen? For now, I will try to stop frantically sprinting while everyone around me leisurely strolls. I will try to soak up the last rays of the sun as it sets on my childhood and just for a moment, feel sentimental.

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