This is it. All your years in Science Olympiad have culminated to this - the final stretch. It’s your last year to make it count, whether that be by winning, making new friendships, growing existing bonds, or challenging yourself intellectually and emotionally. You realize now that in the blink of an eye it all happened, and happened too fast. You’ll start the year with apprehensive enthusiasm because you know the journey from start to finish will be a bittersweet one. You’ll remind yourself to savor every last second of it so that you don’t miss a single laugh, cry, hug, cheer, epiphany, splinter, t-shirt design vote, or paper cut. Yet at the end of it all, you’ll still feel like you missed something, and that feeling of missing something will never go away for weeks - maybe even months or years - after your last competition.
For some of you it will be the seventh year of involvement in Scioly, and for others only the second. But that doesn’t matter when it comes to expressing exactly how much you love this organization and how much you’re going to miss it. When someone asks you, “How much do you love Science Olympiad?” you don’t answer with “I’ve loved it for five years - since seventh grade.” No. You answer by saying how much heart and soul you put into your cheat sheets, how many after school hours you reserve for the team, how early you wake up and how late you stay at school to study, how many pounds of sawdust you inhale per week, how numb your fingers get from tabbing reference books, how chalky your hands are from handling mineral specimens, and how much pride you wear with your team t shirt at competition and even outside of competition.
If there’s one thing that’s absolutely undeniably true, it’s that everyone reading this loves Science Olympiad and will unavoidably miss it dearly after graduating high school. Some will be lucky enough to find a collegiate Science Olympiad presence on their undergraduate campus, but many others will unfortunately not. All, however, will forever be proud Science Olympiad alumni who will have left their mark as esteemed individuals, leaders, students, and - most importantly - friends.