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Monday, Mar 4, 2024

Super Seniors are awesome

I am finally a Super Senior Feb at Middlebury. This term once felt distant — almost surreal. It hovered on the horizon, a bit like some sort of promised land. To be honest, when I first heard the phrase as a bright-eyed Baby Feb three and a half years ago, it sounded like something straight out of a riddle. What exactly is a “Super Senior,” and what makes them so “super?” Honestly, I’m still figuring that out. 

As hundreds of us Super Seniors embark on our final semester at Middlebury, we find ourselves in a unique limbo. Many of our peers graduated last May. Students who were a year younger in high school are graduating this May, just a semester after us. We’re like a middle child caught between two worlds, simultaneously at the top and bottom of the collegiate hierarchy. It’s bewildering, it’s scary. It’s an extended college journey that feels a bit like being stuck in a never-ending TV show.

Let’s not forget about the existential crises that come with being a Super Senior. We’ve spent so much time in academia that we’ve become experts in procrastination. We can debate the merits of different note-taking apps for hours while conveniently avoiding our actual assignments. We’re so old — old enough to be college graduates, to be in the workforce, to drink! To vote! To sustain ourselves on our own! But we also are young — too young to be college graduates, to have a job with benefits. To lease an apartment (we still exist in the comfort of our Atwater suites). 

I first stepped onto Middlebury’s campus in February 2020, brimming with excitement, only to have the world slam on the brakes five and a half weeks later due to the pandemic. The next year and a half felt like a bizarre rollercoaster. I can’t help but feel like I blacked out for most of it. For me, normal college life, whether that be academically or socially, truly began in the fall of 2021.

Now, having this final semester almost feels like a polite formality. But here’s the twist I’m loving at the moment: I have an extra semester this spring to do as I please. I can waltz into the workforce, jet around the globe or simply soak up life’s lessons in any way I see fit. And you can too. It’s like a bonus round in the game of life, and I intend to play it to the hilt. And all of you Super Seniors should too. Ok?

You might be wondering, “What’s the point of this opinion piece?” Well, here it is: Super Seniors possess a unique gift. We get to savor Middlebury as the eldest, the wisest and the most mature students on campus. We’re essentially the Yodas of Middlebury College, offering sage advice and a sense of zen to our younger peers. Then, after a semester of basking in the glory, we have a special window to prepare ourselves for the world. It’s a chance to mold ourselves into the best versions of who we aspire to be. 

So, whether you’re a Super Senior or not, cherish this time. It’ll slip through your fingers before you realize it. Embrace the ‘super’ in you <3333333 and make the most of this distinctive chapter. Who knows, maybe being a Super Senior Feb isn’t about being stuck in between; maybe it’s about having the best of both worlds and the wisdom to appreciate it all.

William Reed

William Reed '23.5 (he/him) is a News Editor.   

He previously served as a Layout Editor and a Staff Writer. Will spent this past summer in Boston, covering news for NBC Boston. He also interned as a reporter with the Addison County Independent in Middlebury during the summer of 2022.  

Will is studying English with a minor in studio art. He also writes for Clover Fashion Magazine and is a member Middlebury's ceramics club.