Senior Year: Unstuck in Time

Emma Cooney, Editor-in-Chief

This year among all the other Sr. required reading, I managed to read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, in which the main character Billy Pilgrim is “unstuck in time,” living various moments throughout his life at random times, out of order. In the novel, time is not a series of events happening one after the other, but something that exists all at once. Billy goes through his life knowing how he is going to die and who he is going to marry and just kind of goes along with it because he knows things will happen no matter what he does.

In these last few weeks of high school, I have also felt like a passenger riding along wherever time decides to take me. As prom approached, time seemed to fly at me, the hours eating away at a long anticipated event. After photos and dinner had already been consumed by the clock, my friends and I set out for the aquarium, only to be stopped in front of a passing train for about nine minutes. It was a really long time to sit and wait, stuck between important moments. As I sat there, though, I realized it was kind of a cool gift from the universe. Time was almost frozen. As soon as the last car passed on that train, we would be at prom and then prom would happen and then it would end and so would go the rest of the year. But for nine minutes, I just got to sit between things, with nowhere to go.

Often when people in prayers and reflections talk about appreciating things instead of looking forward, my fellow seniors and I shrug it off. First because of course we want to be done with testing and homework and get a break. Second because this wave of time that we are riding on is unstoppable, and we actually don’t have much control over how quickly the days pass. But the universe made me unstuck in time on the way to prom. In this crazy time, I hope my fellow seniors can find something like that, something that gives them any small amount of time away from the sweeping tide of the future. Look for it. It’s out there.