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Upward & Onward: Senior Meditations

Senior winter marks the beginning of the end. With midterms wrapped up, even those students not yet into college feel they can breathe a little easier and look forward to enjoying their final months at Deerfield.

But February is also a time to look back. As meditation season kicks off, seniors take time to look inward for something meaningful to say as they write reflective, often deeply personal, longer papers they read to their English classes.

“I’m going to have trouble deciding what I want to talk about,” said Jamie Haddad ’12. “It can be hard to get personal. But once I know, I think it will be fun to write.”

Eliza Mott ’12 agreed, declaring, “It’s weird writing so much about yourself—it’s hard not to feel a bit narcissistic.”

Overall, however, the reaction to writing meditations is positive and most people are grateful for the opportunity.

“I can’t wait to write mine,” said Shelbi Kilcollins ’12. “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since I came to Deerfield. There are definitely things I really want to share and this is my chance to do that.”

But students remain a bit more divided when it comes to specific topics. While many seniors choose to write about an important family member or interesting memory or experience from home, others view it as the perfect way to culminate the Deerfield experience. “I see it as an opportunity to reflect on how Deerfield has impacted my life so far,” said Macaulay King ’12.

Regardless of the setting, however, English teacher Ada Fan has a sagacious reminder for all seniors: “This is not a competition to see who has had the most tragic experience. If there is an upsetting experience that one wishes to open up about, then by all means, but it’s certainly not the requirement.”

Whether serious or upbeat, meditations remain a distinctive component of the Deerfield journey. Dani Pulgini ’12 said, “It’s a really important and valuable exercise. It requires students to evaluate where they are at this point in life before moving on to college and beyond.”

As senior year begins to draw to a close, it is not only a time to look ahead, but also a time to look back.

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