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Friday, April 18, 2014
LWA Antics
Coming into senior year swinging
Nicole Engelman
Nicole Engelman

I am a five-foot-one-inch tall volleyball player from Woodmere. To many, that might sound wrong, almost a little bit funny but, to me, it’s one of the most normal things I’ve been able to say lately.

For the past month, I’ve had to grow accustomed to hearing the word “senior,” responding to the word “senior,” even referring to myself as a “senior.” I’ve had to get used to standing up from my seat when I hear “Seniors are now dismissed” at Headmaster’s Homeroom (a Monday meeting of the entire Upper School to discuss the coming week’s events) and stopping myself from saying “junior” when I’m asked my year. This six-letter-word seems to be everywhere around me and it’s a word I cannot escape. Senior.

Beginning my seventh year at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, I didn’t think that a word could sound so exciting and promising, yet so daunting and final at the same time. The excitement comes at the prospect that I am now taking small initial steps into my future. My life has become a whirlwind of applications, supplements and transcripts that are all leading me towards one thing … college. To me, college is the far-off reality that really isn’t that far off. I know that the familiarity of my senior year is leading me to the unfamiliar, but the unfamiliar seems to be what I’m getting used to nowadays.

I’m used to running to work in the College Room (where seniors feverishly fill out applications and research possible schools) any chance I get, and to sitting at the unofficial “senior table” in the cafeteria. I’m used to driving out to lunch with my friends (the years of being unlicensed now behind us) and to the intense level of anxiety and excitement that comes with pressing the “submit” button on an application.

Out of all of the unfamiliar things about senior year, one thing will always feel familiar to me and that’s volleyball. I started playing volleyball my sophomore year at LWA and, I have to admit, my intentions for playing weren’t the most sincere. I wanted to join the team so I would be exempt from first period gym class, but I soon found that being a part of the team was so much more.

That year was the first year in the school’s history that the girls’ varsity volleyball team made it to the championships. I had never been a part of something so special until I was one of the six girls out on that court making a name for my school.

Two years later, I am now the co-captain of a team of eight amazing girls and couldn’t be more excited about what the season has in-store for the Lady Tigers. With every point my team scores, I feel a sense of pride in our unity and determination and I know we will go on to do great things. The comfort I now find on the court reminds me of a time when even that was unfamiliar; so as my senior year begins I am ready to embrace its unfamiliarity and come out swinging.

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