This was Senior Year [On Film]! | Aimee Han
Updated: May 10
*This is a sneak peek at my article for Vol. 17, Issue 4. Keep an eye out for it!
The last few months have been bittersweet like the cacao nibs I love on my acai bowls and nostalgic like my never-ending desire to listen to the High School Musical Soundtrack. I have spent every semester in the past two years in the middle room of F202 (although, I was figuratively present during my first semester and a half due to online school). I have spent every fleeting moment in this room resting my head due to a caffeine-withdrawal headache only to wake up to the sweet, sweet, chatter of my fellow staffers passionately arguing over what role we would each play in Euphoria. I have begged and begged and literally begged my classmates to play Sriracha the Game with me instead of last-minute cramming for their AP Psychology test. I have found myself in legitimate disagreements with staffers who would refuse to write their own caption for their online article. I have witnessed the Editorial Director book a flight to Colorado to see Phoebe Bridgers, only to have drained their bank account of funds sufficient enough to purchase their own Senior Week Pass. And undeniably, I have also had many unhinged and slight mental breakdowns (or as I like to call them, “menty bs”) over college applications, student-lot parking accidents, and most terrifying of them all, an Ariana Grande perfume.
Yet, I have grown immensely fond of that middle room. The middle room where we celebrated our college acceptances and showed up to school with an attitude after suffering rejections from our dream schools. The middle room where we shared our first experiences (which I will not clarify further details) and the middle room where we would scour the print magazine for errors until our eyes bled with frustration over double spaces. This is the middle room that has seen us mature (allegedly) and gain the confidence and style we had always wished to acquire.
And within that middle room lies not only a broken raven clock with a line of succession written on a Jersey Mike’s napkin over who would inherit the coveted role of Editor-in-Chief in an emergency scenario, but also some film photos that I took over the past nine months. And while the original film camera I purchased at the beginning of the year for this project was lost after Homecoming, restarting the project was extremely representative of my past four years. Because all I have done is restart, revive, and relive in this cycle of discovering excitement within this suburbia. And so, I have hung up some of my fondest memories of our staff in that sacred place because the middle room, in a way, will always be ours.
And without further ado, here are some of the remaining exposures of film photos I took over the past few months.
First semester, there are passing and fuzzy memories of my friends and I having our last interactions of the day before heading off to fourth period. This was taken on the last day of first semester, and we were all aching for a break. Despite suffering from a fear of wearing pajamas to school from the mere age of five, I courageously conquered such a fear and showed up to school in my emerald green comfy, only to be inclined to doze off every few seconds. Nevertheless, it was also a period of time indicative of my senioritis, which has yet to be cured.
On the special day of February 4th, 2022 (AQUARIUS SUPREMACY), my friend surprised (not really that surprised considering how this picnic is something we do at lunch on all of our friend’s birthdays) me with a picnic on the lawn of parched grass neighboring the student law and the edge of school grounds. There remains nothing but love for these radiant souls in my heart. Moreover, my name means loved by everyone in french, hence, my friends seem to love me dearly whether they like to admit it or not! :)
The legacy of Pulse Magazine resides in the annual morning coffee run to Philz (before school, of course). While our leadership staff has shifted our addiction from Philz Coffee to Einstein’s Bagels and Bird Rock, there is nothing more thrilling than driving down the large hill on Del Mar Heights Road with the windows down and blasting Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande during the crisp breeze and warm glow of September.
My absolute favorite part of this picture is the fact that you can catch a slight glimpse of my school-issued chromebook, which is covered in my stickers of Philz Online Coffee orders. Because what better way to demonstrate silent defiance to the Chromebook-mandate than decorating something that originally lacked “flavor” and personality?
Strutting into first period are the two varsity basketball stars who happen to be two of my very dear friends. And this is a lesson for you, Pulse Reader, to participate in spirit days and go to home games. I understand how terrifyingly dreadful and cliche it seems to partake in something so “high school,” and I am well aware that these interactions don’t really matter in the long run. But what matters more is the now. So, if you want to bring anything besides a backpack to school for spirit day, do so. If you want to live out your jock fantasy at home games, wear your letterman. Sometimes, life surprises you in mysterious ways, and sometimes those ways happen to be simply showing up and allowing yourself to be a high schooler.
The most anticlimactic but most important lesson I have ever learned in the past four years at CCA is that you need to take a free period. Do not stack all your APs and Honors courses into both semesters. It is not worth it. Take a free fourth, kids. Walk with your friends at the beach. Discover secret hidden areas of Torrey Pines Beach when the tide is low and specks of the sun glisten on the ocean blue. Romanticize your life for crying out loud.
There is something so wonderfully exuberant about this exposure, and it is indeed the fact that my favorite ginger in the entire world is in focus as she rocks her monochrome-pink-flamingo-Senior’d-Out-outfit.
Take AP Lit with Mr. Perisic, if you can. It’s one of the most refreshing and rewarding classes you’ll ever take. After all, who doesn’t love to read in-between the lines of carefully-crafted and artistic strings of words. But since a picture is worth a thousand words, remember to smile because you’re on film!
And as this journey comes to a close, and the final curtain drops, I have nothing but gratitude to show for all of those who have accompanied me on this wild ride. And although I wish I knew what to say, as always, I am found rambling over my thoughts and allowing them to leak from my mind onto the screen with no filter. But all there is left to say, I guess, is a sincere thank you to everyone who has made a little imprint on my soul. So, thank you all. The end.