Seniors say goodbye


Signs outside the IB office announce the buildup to senior experience

The school’s seniors began their transition away from high school last week as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams began. Attendance in classes with seniors and juniors, who are allowed to take Generals Rest days, falls during May as students are testing. After that, seniors begin senior experience and are no longer in the building. The class of 2018 is therefore finishing up their last true days of school this week.

The idea of leaving Arlington hasn’t sunk in for many seniors yet, and most have mixed feelings about leaving high school. “I’m excited to leave, but at the same time it’s sad,” senior Elena Cannon said. “It’ll be good to meet new people, but it’s also a little scary to be starting over.”

One senior, Jaya Kambhampaty, created a project for IB’s Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) program that was intended to profile the senior class. Called Beautiful People, the project highlighted several seniors in an attempt to illustrate the beauty of the diverse community at the school. “I think I became a more compassionate and understanding person through the project,” Kambhampaty said. “It taught me a lot about what people have to offer to our community.”

To create this project, Kambhampaty asked seniors to share their beliefs on any subject they wanted. In a preface to the profiles, Kambhampaty wrote, “This project celebrates some stories and people of a class of Washington-Lee High School, a place whose heartbeat emanates from the culmination of its students’ distinct lives.”

The profiles each consisted of a picture of a student and a brief passage, typically either advice from that student, a quotation selected by them or a brief story told by them. Kambhampaty’s stated goal for all this was to answer the question, “Why do I love being a student at my school so much?”

For other students too, one of the most important parts of the high school experience is the sense of community and the development of friendships. “The thing I value most about this school is the community I’ve built over my time here,” senior Sam Muskovitz said. “It was a process of trial and error, but in sophomore year I joined theater and kind of branched out from there.”

Even though school is wrapping up, seniors still have events such as prom, the boat party and graduation to look forward to. “I’m pretty sad to be leaving everyone, but I’m also looking forward to the experiences we have left, like prom and meeting new people,” senior Nora Wagner said.

Still, most seniors feel prepared to move on. “I feel that over the course of the years, we’ve learned how to adapt to change and learn to face challenges,” senior Ana Rousseva said. “I think taking this new step won’t be too hard.”