There is some contention over when it starts – some say the beginning of the senior year, some say in the second semester of junior year – but when “senior-itis” hits, it hits hard. What is “senior-itis?” It can be a hazy, glazed-over look in an upperclassman’s eye, a telltale sign that his or her mind is not there in the classroom, but in what lies ahead for them after graduation. It can be seen in the lounging groups of seniors in the library, luxuriously enjoying the final moments of high school. It can include a sense of fear, too; “senior-itis” is just as much an admission of anxiety over the future as it is an eagerness for the future to come.

As the end of the school year draws closer, we asked seniors at Lebanon High School about their plans after graduation. We also asked them to describe the overwhelming emotion that comes with this change. You can see an interesting perspective on Lebanon in these questioning young adults. Home, for them, is now as much a place to move on from as it was a source of comfort for 18 years.

Ed. Note: Congratulations, Class of 2014! I hope you find your passion and ways to pursue it.

Natalie Cantlin – Lebanon

2“After I graduate, my plan is to take a gap year and do some traveling. I want to see some more of the world before I’m stuck in a job to pay off my student loans. My friend Izzy and I are planning on traveling through Western Europe during the beginning of 2015. Until then, I will be working to earn money to fund this excursion. I am so looking forward to graduating; it will be nice to get out of Lebanon and expand my global perspective.”

Emma Poplack – Lebanon

2“Next year, I am off to Stanford University to study who-knows-what. Right now, I’m a 50-50 split between terrified and excited. I’m terrified to do something so different from everything I know, but I’m also thrilled to be taking advantage of the next four years to experience new things. I’m hoping to study everything, from math to history to dance. I’m definitely looking forward to more sunshine and more days above freezing! Most of all, I’m excited to be moving on from high school. After four years, I’m ready to try something new and have more freedom and opportunity. So while I’m dreading that June deadline, I also can’t wait for it to come.”

Ian Girdwood – Lebanon

3“After my experience this past summer working on an archaeology dig in England, I’ve dreamed of pursuing archaeology as a career. After graduation this spring, I plan on heading off to college, majoring in anthropology at either St. Lawrence University or George Washington University. While I’m sad to be saying goodbye to old friends, I’m excited to meet interesting people and make new friendships. I can’t wait to take advantage of study abroad programs and travel the world, hopefully taking part in some more summer archaeology digs. While my time here in Lebanon has been great, and left me with many memories that I treasure, I think I am finally ready to go out and see what this world has to teach me!”

Kaylee Rogers – Grantham

4“I plan on attending UNH for a major in political science and a minor in some form of history. I really want to use my degree for something with politics or in law. We live in an era with so many national and world issues, and I want to use politics and the government to give people a voice and help out those suffering in the United States and around the world. The U.S. has such power and influence around the globe, and I want to be a part of that! I’m so excited to graduate and use my independence to lead me wherever I end up. I want to get out into the world and make a name for myself.”

Kenny Weitzman – Lebanon

5“I’ve been accepted to UNH, UVM, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Rochester, and Tufts University. Tufts is my top choice for now. I’m looking to study political science, international affairs, and economics. I’m excited to make new friends and have great new life experiences. I’m both very excited and somewhat apprehensive about graduating, because while I’ve spent a lot of time here and I’ve definitely gained something from my four years of high school, I think the opportunities I’ll be offered in college will exceed those I can find at LHS.”

Kelsie Atwater – Plainfield

6“Next fall I will be attending Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. Colgate first came on my horizon freshman year, but I knew it was the school for me the first time I put foot on campus junior year. I applied and was accepted Early Decision. I am extremely excited. My current plan is to major in neuroscience and then continue on to a career in the medical field. Graduating high school is bittersweet. I am ready to move on to the next stage of my life and out of the bubble I grew up in, but I will also miss the people and places that have surrounded me for the past 17 years of my life.”

Jake Jasinski – Lebanon

7“After graduation I will be studying computer science at college. I am incredibly excited to be able to get a change of pace and a breath of fresh air. I am most anticipating a different living style, and being able to take the classes which I specifically choose. Graduating feels awesome, but bittersweet. Every time I think about it I can’t help but thinking that I won’t be seeing most of my friends for much longer. Although graduation will be an amazing culmination of 12 years of hard work and I look forward to an exciting and fresh next four years, I will always remember my friends from Lebanon.”

Yen Truong – Lebanon

8“I can’t believe I’m graduating; I can’t believe I’ll be leaving my teachers and my high school friends! Without familiar faces, I will be quite frightened, but I am excited for college nonetheless. I’m going to Dartmouth in the fall. My long-term goal is to be a pediatrician. I love children, and if I become a successful doctor, I would have enough money to open an art therapy clinic. Art is a great way to have fun and connect with different people, and I’d like to give my patients that opportunity.”

by Will Weatherly