BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The first day of school, or rather, the last first day of school, is a strange occurrence for many seniors. As slightly fearful-looking freshmen scurry through the halls, seniors walk on with confidence or in disbelief. When Governor Livingston senior Victoria Pantina walked into Governor Livingston on the first day of her senior year, she couldn’t believe it. She said, “I looked around and I realized I’ve spent almost four years at GL, surrounded by all these people. I was so excited for the year to begin!”

Pantina’s experience as a senior on the first day of school was much different than that of her freshman year, she recalled, “I remember on the first day of my freshman year sitting in the hallway in the morning and being worried about not knowing half the grade. Now I have so many more friends and I have grown so much closer to people I wasn’t friends with in freshman year.” Looking back on the past three years, one of Pantina’s favorite aspects of GL was the sports teams and the strong sense of community present within them. “I’ve made friends through being part of teams for Volleyball and track,” she said, “I love having a group of people and making memories with them throughout the season.”

The experiences of freshmen, sophomore, and junior year definitely shape senior year, whether concerning friends or academics. “One thing I am nervous about for my senior year is the workload,” Pantina said, “And college applications for sure.” Senior year may be accompanied by heavy coursework, college applications, deadlines, and inevitable stress, but holds promise as well. Pantina exemplified this, saying, “With senior privileges and activities, and Open Campus and Prom, I am definitely looking forward to senior year!” Pantina and her senior peers - whether they reacted to their last first day of high school with horror or glee, and are concerned or expectant - have a year of promise ahead of them.

Editor's Note: The Highlander section features articles written for The Highlander, Gov. Livingston High School's student newspaper.