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Apologies to the Class of 2013

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By Meaghan Downs

Dear Anderson County high school seniors, Class of 2013:
I apologize in advance.
Many of you won’t read this column, because according to some of your elders, you’ve never seen a newspaper.
For those who decided to engage in the archaic ritual of reading the weekly newspaper, I’d like to extend an apology on behalf of others who believe today’s youth don’t know how to string a sentence together unless it includes text speak like “LOL” or “OMG.”  
I’m not the first to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: This country is not going to hell in a hand basket with students like you in charge.
Our back to school feature, published on A1, profiles five Anderson County High School seniors and their thoughts on the first day of their last year of secondary education.  
Interviewing five high school seniors does not represent the whole of your class.   
If it was humanely possible, I would have loved to sit down with every senior willing to tell his or her story.
Exciting. Scary. Nervous. Those were the three words used most to describe what these high school seniors were feeling about today, the first day back.  
Words like “pressure” and “stress” peppered conversations about senior year as well, a time for cramming in as many AP classes, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities as possible without collapsing from exhaustion.
Some attacked the idea of the future with a strategic plan for military service or college enrollment. Others spoke about a more vague idea of the weeks following graduation, but were confident they’d find something to do. A few apologized for hesitating on questions like “where you do you see yourself in five years?” and “what do you want your high school legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?”
High school is a fuzzy, distant memory for me — and I’d argue that’s the case for many of our Anderson News readers — but feeling uncertain about the future is not.
The worst part is not knowing, not knowing whether the future is lurking around the corner or waiting patiently for you to arrive.  
One of the seniors, Kerry Baird, said it was hard for him to think of where he’d be in five years because he didn’t know what he should be expecting.
“You can’t take guesses,” he said. “Something that long, you can’t plan ahead.”
Anderson County High School seniors are trying their best to prepare for the future despite their blindness.
And they may not know where they’ll be in five years, only mustering an “I don’t know” for an answer.
One thing is for sure — feeling uncertain is certainly nothing they need to apologize for.  

Reminder — send your first day of school photos to our Facebook page or e-mail mdowns@theandersonnews.com.