“Until You Got Older”: A Senior’s Musings on Graduation Week


The following is a piece written for Mr. Schilt’s Creative Writing class by graduating senior Madison Kay. It is intended for the Class of 2023 and future classes who are looking ahead to graduation.

You get out of the car.

Your mom hugs and kisses you for your first day of school.

You are scared to leave her, but your new classroom looks so fun.

The bright green rug and what seems like thousands of books are calling your name.

You put your backpack in your cubby and the start of the long 13 year journey begins.

Each day is filled with new crafts to make and stories to hear.

You couldn’t wait for the holiday parties when the parents would bring in treats and you would celebrate all day.

Or to bring in your favorite thing lying around your room that month for show and tell.

You played all of the sports offered and were open to try anything.

The only worries you had were if you got chosen for Student of the Week and what you were going to play on the playground.

That was, until you got older.


Now you’ve moved up a couple grades.

Your mom starts dropping you off at a different building now.

You can’t wait to give her a hug and kiss, then run inside to start your day.

The crafts have turned into multiplication tables, and the stories you once were being told have turned into chapter books.

You didn’t mind, you found the challenge fun.

Your card was always on green with maybe the occasional slip to yellow, but never got pulled to red.

The book fair was coming up and you got a new dress for the daddy daughter dance.

You can’t wait to show your friends the new jump rope song you learned.

The only worries you had were how many punches you were getting at recess on your mile feet punch card and what unique style you should choose for crazy hair day.

That was, until you got older.


You give your mom a quick hug and skip your way inside yet another new building.

Your backpack is heavier but you don’t even notice. 

You’re put to work with new and even bigger projects than before.

You’re in the spelling bee and the science fair.

You have to learn how to play the recorder for the school concert.

It’s okay though, you still have time to get in some Papa’s Freezeria.

And you can’t forget about Fire Boy and Water Girl.

You’re finally old enough to go on the big kid glider and play Gaga ball at recess.

Speed stacking competitions were coming up and you couldn’t wait to win.

You wish you were a teenager, then you would finally be like one of the older kids.

You finally found the one sport you love and joined the club team.

The only worries you had were the new iReady testing you had to complete and if your mom was going to say yes to a sleepover.

That was, until you got older.


You wake up to something new.

A new school in a new place in a new house.

Your mom drops you off but you wouldn’t dare be seen giving her a hug or a kiss now,

You’re too old.

All the faces surrounding you belong to complete strangers.

You put your backpack in a tiny little locker that you already forget the combination to.

You’re in the advanced math class and you feel so cool.

You eventually make some new friends at camp and everything feels a bit more normal.

Classes got harder and iReady turned into the dreaded M-Step.

But you managed to keep all As.

Your parents were hard on you to make sure it stayed like that.

You wish you could decide to do things for yourself.

Recess was not meant for playing, only gossiping about who’s “dating” who.

The only worries you had were who was going to see you wearing that ugly one piece bathing suit in swim class, and trying to make everything perfect.

That was, until you got older.


Your alarm goes off and you would rather do anything than get out of bed.

You think to yourself, only one more year until you’re big.

You try to pull the sick card but it doesn’t work, you’re forced to go.

Walking into the school, you wish to yourself it was already the end of the year, filled with new and exciting things you’ve been waiting for the past two years.

Greenfield Village with the delicious buffet style lunch,

and Washington D.C., the 8 hour bus ride with some of your best friends.

Eighth grade books that we all procrastinated until the night before.

And you can’t forget about the long awaited Eighth grade dance,

where you hit the whip and nae nae like the world was ending. 

Summer comes soon after and it’s one of the best yet.

Filled with pool parties before walking around sounds and sights.

When Mo Bamba turned on, you knew it was going to be a good time.

Sleepovers with your new best friends and exploring golf courses at 2am.

The only worries you had were if you were going to get lost in the new building and if your VSCO page looked good or not.

That was, until you got older.


The final years are here.

On the way to school your mom says “it goes by fast, cherish every minute.”

You nod her off because what does she know, and turn up the radio.

You couldn’t wait until you could drive yourself.

The new building you’re in seems huge and of course you’re late to your first class.

The lunch here is so much better than before.

Mac ‘n’ cheese, nacho and salad bar, mini corn dogs and crispy, salty fries.

You’re playing your first high school sport and you just went to your first football game.

The student section was USA themed, surrounding you in a sea of red, white, and blue.

You stood at the back with the rest of the freshmen, getting yelled at to be louder.

Your first high school dance is soon, you have to go dress shopping at the mall with your friends.

The first exam week of high school is coming up fast, but fortunately it’s your last for a while.

You get let out of school for a couple days because of this new virus.

A couple days turns to a couple weeks, turns to a couple of months, until it’s summer.

Everything starts to get shut down and the world starts to get lonely.

The only worries you had were being able to hang out with your friends again and getting enough hours for driver’s training.

That was, until you got older.


You begin your day with logging into Zoom.

You stay in bed all day and occasionally fall back asleep once you join your class.

That is until you get woken up by your breakout room.

Everyday fades together in an endless cycle.

Nothing was normal, but it was our new normal.

You could spend the night at your friend’s house on a Monday.

You didn’t have to get ready in the morning, instead you stayed in your pajamas for the whole day.

You could do school anywhere you wanted, the beach, a restaurant. 

As long as you had internet.

Until life switched to hybrid.

A mix of Zoom and in person.

You may not get to stay in bed anymore, but now you get to see some of your friends. You get to play the sport you missed out on the year before.  

And it switched just in time for you to show off your new drivers license.

The only worries you had were how long before we had to go back to school, and when we could finally stop wearing masks.

That was, until you got older.


You start the morning rushing around your house. 

You throw the many bags you have in your car and floor the gas. 

It’s 7:42am, you’re running late as usual.

It’s your hardest year.

Filled with AP classes and the SAT, 

So many more responsibilities are piled on your back.

You get your first job but you hate it. 

It’s almost Christmas time but you get COVID.

Your sport season is coming up but you find out you’re injured.

Your friends are leaving you soon,

That means you’re next.

You have to start thinking about college.

Where you want to go, what you want to study.

Filling out the common app and starting to write your essay.

Emailing college coaches to get your name out,

Hoping you will get recruited.

All of this while still trying to maintain all of your social relationships. 

You’re exhausted.

You couldn’t wait for this year to be over.

The only worries you had were how much money you had in your bank account and where to take senior pictures.

That was, until you got older.


You wake up and finally get to enjoy an A.M. release.

It’s your last first day of school.

You give your mom a hug because you can tell she’s sad,

You are too.

All of these years and the time has finally come.

It starts with football games and being the new leaders of the crowd.

Homecoming weekend, to us a pep rally, football game, and the dance.

A trip to Canada with your English class to see Hamlet. 

And before you know it, it’s Thanksgiving.

Your classes switch and you don’t give it much thought.

You’re finally done with all of your math classes.

It’s time to start applying for scholarships and figuring out where you’re going to school for the years to come.

You blink and it’s Christmas. 

Next thing you know you’re 18, a legal adult. 

Your final high school sports season is just about to begin.

You have a chance at going to states.

You’re looking forward to the spring break trip you have planned, your final prom that is always overhyped, and college orientation at your future home. 

But one by one all of these things keep getting checked off the list. 

Time speeds up until you realize you only have a week left.

Where did the time go.

You think back to all the time you spent wishing away. 

Wishing you had it back.

Now you have an unending amount of things to worry about.

College, money, a job, leaving your family and pets, saying goodbye to your best friends, graduation.

Not to mention growing into an adult.

Well that is, now that you’re older.