Senior year makes the world spin faster, and in that blurred speed, something happens. All of your last times (last goodbyes, last school days, last parties) seem to blend together in a saturated frenzy. Everything seems backwards; your enemies are now your friends and you feel sad to leave them, and there is magic in even the most mundane events. Things that had once seemed technical and normal are now, in a way, ethereal. Everything is different.

Take the other night’s dress rehearsal, for instance.

As I sat in the dimmed auditorium, watching sparkling toddlers bounce around on a brightly lit stage, there was suddenly a hush. It’s barely noticeable – only a split second between two notes of a song – but I immediately feel myself fall into it. The room seems to go in slow motion, and what was once a loud neon scene is now a dusky wonderland. Here, in the glittering haze, kids sway happily with each other, like little twinkling flowers in a summer breeze. Girls flit from one group to another, flitting with an enthusiastic grace down the aisles. Butterflies in a field. Kids peek out from behind the curtains backstage, looking like curious fairies that had just escaped from the pages of a children’s book.

Rainbows run rampant, and in the lowlight, the colors of the costumes are peacefully muted, reflecting little flecks of light from their neighboring sequins. Dancers wrapped in a sunset glow by the stage, and girls in flowing ballet costumes saunter fluidly by them, with smiling babies cloaked in petals tugging at their skirts. The music in the background sounds like its 10 feet under water, and I paddle my way through to the surface, bubbles escaping from my nose as I rise.

I break the surface.

That second note strikes.

It all speeds back up again, and I am back to the real world. I look to my right and my friend is running toward me in a giant tutu. On my left, my other friend is bobbing to the music and grinning at the stage. Back to reality.

I swear, senior year tilts the Earth just slightly. In that tilt, everything is just a little bit off, and light reflects in a different way. Magic is real in senior year, more so than when we were those babies on the stage. In the light of change, we put on our rose-colored glasses; the lovely, unnatural haze that comes with the warm filter, however, is not one that induces a happy ignorance.

Rather, it gives us two different points of view, one for each lens: a view that sees the good in what it’s leaving behind, and a view that sees the great in the future it’s moving toward.