Senior Reflection

Luke Park ’24 (Executive Editor, 143rd Board) in Opinions | May 26, 2024

As I sit down to write this essay, I realize I am already on my fourth draft. During my four years here, I have served as a prefect, techie, editor, Merrill scholar, writer, poet, student, mentor, and  friend. How am I meant to consolidate all four years and all the joy and sorrow and love and pain and feeling they have held?

At Lawrenceville, it's easy to lose sight of things. We often discuss the Lawrenceville bubble—the way this institution of privilege shields us from engaging with the outside world. But in a way the bubble applies within Lawrenceville as well. We wake up early in the morning for classes, exhaust ourselves at athletics, grind on our extracurriculars, and toil away at our homework during study hall, just to repeat the process all over again. In that, we tend to lose sight of the things that bring us joy, the things that we're passionate about and the things that really make us care—even if we're doing those very things every day. We get lost in the loop of day-to-day life.

But what really matters is not getting lost in that loop, not allowing the bulk of life to run you over. Because the things that we remember most won't come from the day-to-day of our Lawrenceville lives, but from everything in between. It's the small talk we make over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the jokes we crack on the field, the passion we pour into our extracurriculars and the moments we share everywhere else that get immortalized as we step outside the Lawrenceville gates and move on to bigger things.

What I'm essentially trying to say is that the crux of my four years at Lawrenceville has been the little things of life—not necessarily the hours spent toiling away on the set for the Fall musical, getting the standard eight Lawrence pages in, or trying to perfect that one essay, but joking around with my friends, getting into stupid debates, and asking weird hypotheticals in the process of those things. It's a simple thing to notice, but it's true. Appreciate and cherish these small moments, because the thing that's not simple or easy to notice immediately is that these small moments tend to accumulate and snowball into what we ultimately come to understand as love.


I'm not a believer in God or any higher power, but if there was any divine purpose in our lives, I'm sure it would have been the careful cultivation of love—of these moments that give us connection and make us feel whole. I'm only nineteen and there's a whole lot in this world I don't understand and know yet, and when I die there's going to be a whole lot more I'll never have known or grown enough to have understood—and I don't know if I've made peace with that. But I do know that the boys are causing a ruckus in the Woodhull library, my friends are typing away at their senior reflections, trying to put their gratitude and love into words, and the  IV Formers are working so hard to take my place next year. I know I can share poetry with my friends, play video games with them, and just sit down and talk when I'm feeling really blue; these things make my chest swell so full with love and joy, that as I finish this essay I think knowing just that is something enough.