The First of the Lasts: The Class of 2023 Begins Their Final Ride


Maddie Hawkins

First Day of School Prep: Several senior girls gather at the top of the parking deck on their final night of summer break to paint their cars and ring in the new school year.

The first day of school is always one of excitement and anticipation. Whether it’s showing off a new pair of shoes, sharing summer stories, or reuniting with friends, almost every student has something to be excited about. For a quarter of the school, however, it is sadly the last time they will be excited about the first day at North Atlanta. 

A harsh reality is quickly approaching for the class of 2023: their time at NAHS is coming to an end. With the last first day of school, senior sunrise, and the kickoff football scrimmage coming and going, the senior class is becoming increasingly aware of how little time they have left. “It is crazy that we already had our last football scrimmage,” said senior Mac Perno. “It feels like just yesterday that we were going to our first scrimmage as freshmen. Dubs still by 100 though!” 

For some, the transition into senior year is very exciting. For others, it is a sad indication that their time at NAHS, as well as their childhood, is coming to a close. Many fond memories have been made at North Atlanta: from lunch with friends to cheering on the many Dubs sports teams from the sidelines and everything in between. It is bittersweet for our fourth-years to bid farewell to such a wonderful and fundamental part of their lives. It is truly a difficult but equally exciting time. “It makes me sad to think about leaving my friends and family next fall,” said senior Jonathan French. “But, I’m pumped at the idea of entering a new chapter in my life.” 

However, before students can leave high school, they first have to devise a plan for where they will go next. College applications have opened, providing students with ample amounts of stress in regards to not knowing where to apply, what they want to study, and so much more. There are so many important decisions to make – decisions that will decide their futures. This process, while stress-inducing, is a, perhaps unwelcome but, helpful insight into adulthood. For these seniors, their first semester will most likely be the most hectic time of their entire high school career. Luckily for them, their second semester is just as likely to be the most fun and incredible time of their entire high school career. “Beginning college applications has been extremely overwhelming,” said senior Duskin Balch. “At the same time, there’s so much excitement involved in the process. Picturing myself at my dream school makes all of the stress completely worth it.”

As the year progresses, more bittersweet moments will arrive. There are many firsts, lasts, and first lasts. A mix of happiness, sadness, and apprehension is sure to flood the seniors as graduation approaches. Surely the sadness of our seniors is purely a reflection of the wonderful time they have had at the amazing North Atlanta and the impact that the school has had on them. With only 280 days left of high school for the class of 2023, one thing is for sure, these seniors will definitely make each one count.