Starting my senior year of high school has been one big combination of emotions, such as excitement, worry, stress, hopefulness and exhaustion.
I love where I go to school, so I was very excited for school to start back up again. I was especially excited because we just got a brand new high school building, and I spent the last few weeks of summer helping my mom move into her classroom and get ready for school. Going back to school also meant that I could see my friends and get back into a normal daily routine.
Going back to school had its downsides though. The first of which would be that I still need to decide what I want to study in college. I only know what I do not want to do, but that is all. I also don’t know where I want to go to college because I can't decide on any one major. Those two things alone worry me greatly, and because I am a high school senior, the first question people always ask is, "What are you going to college for?"
My high school counselor is setting up lots of college meet-and-greets with admission officers, which is exciting but also very worrisome for me.
The other change from the summer is that school brings back the need for balance, which I had very little of over summer break. I also have more in my life to balance this year: my job, two concurrent classes, two honors classes, my friends and family, manager for the varsity volleyball team, a senior class officer and the bowling team. I desperately need balance among work, sports, friends, sleep, homework, family and, most importantly, God.
Over the summer, I was blessed to be able to consistently go to Mass on Sundays, even when my crazy work schedule made it very difficult to go at my normal time. I began to notice how much I truly enjoy going to Mass.
I got the chance to see what Mass is like in three different Catholic churches, which is pretty cool because even though we have the same readings and we are all united each community celebrates differently. I love being able to see those little differences among people. Being in church and participating in Mass with God and the community brought me a powerful sense of calmness that my heart needed. It was almost like I could feel the joy in my soul when I went to Mass. It makes me very happy to know that when I go into a church I can sit and be in God's presence and safety.
Time with God also has allowed me to pray and think more about the career I want in my life. While I still feel like I have made absolutely no progress in figuring that out, it gives me a lot of peace to know that God will always be by my side to guide me and help me with all my trials and the curve balls that life has in store for my future.
I have noticed that the older I get, the more I see God in my everyday life. I see him in my friends, my family, his creations and even in myself at times. Knowing he is here for me is my biggest comfort going into my last year of high school.
Charley Collins, a member of St. Joseph Church in Conway, is a senior at St. Joseph High School.
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