Senior Year Reflection

Jane Bachus, Design Editor

Since March 13, 2020, our lives have never quite been the same. As I was finishing the final months of my junior year, society was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. The world stopped – literally. We were forced to adjust to a new lifestyle of virtual meetings, little to no time with friends and extended family and isolation within our households.

The pandemic prevented us from returning to school on the first day of senior year. Instead of walking in the flowing hallways of H-F, greeting old classmates and teachers and engaging in rooms of chattering students, I began my first class of my last year of high school sitting alone in my room, staring aimlessly into a computer screen of ID photos, representing my classmates for the school year. Instead of taking part in classroom discussions, we were sent into “breakout rooms,” where the silence from a lack of unneeded effort filled my room. Instead of a bell to dismiss me from class, I anxiously awaited my computer clock to hit the minute of dismissal, where I’d spend the next 10 minutes asleep on my desk or scrolling through social media.

After spending hours upon hours gazing into a technological world of shared screens and Google Meets, I finally had the opportunity to leave my house and go outside and play sports. Athletics kept me sane throughout the year – I learned to appreciate every minute spent with my teammates, whether it was on the tennis court, badminton court, or soccer field. The two hours at practices or games for six days a week boosted my mentality and taught me to value my time where I was moving, laughing and being outside with my friends. Everyone was in this together, and our time spent with each other became the highlight of everyone’s day.

As the end of the school year crept upon us, there was silence from administration regarding the end of our school year activities, including prom and graduation. I am happy to say, with the help of 2,000 signatures in an online petition, virtual meetings with administrators and engaged student participation, we are able to hold an in-person, COVID-safe “prom” and graduation ceremony on May 22 and May 29, a little over a year since the pandemic first dramatically altered our lives.

I remember being in elementary school and looking up to the scary seniors in high school, who seemed to have it all. They were spending their last year as a “kid” going to school, football games, parties, trips, sports events, prom and graduation together for the final time.

Obviously, this was not the way I anticipated my senior year of high school to occur. Although it is crushing to think about all the opportunities we missed out on, the pandemic also gave me a new perspective regarding how I need to start appreciating the little things in life and never take anything for granted, because you absolutely never know how quickly the world can change.