This year has been unconventional, to say the least. Through a global pandemic, raging wildfires, record snowstorms, and political unrest, we have endured and survived. Regardless of age, it has been taxing and stressful. For seniors in high school, this year has given a unique perspective on school. As a member of the class of 2021, I’ve developed that same unique perspective.
At the end of our junior year, COVID-19 swept through the nation. We were forced out of school and told to stay home for almost the entire summer. As juniors going into their senior year, we were all optimistic of what the next year would bring and eager to forget what we had endured for the past 6 months. However, we never knew how long the pandemic would last.
This year I have not experienced a lot of senior activities. I missed football games, homecoming, volleyball and basketball games, and senior activities. In fact, for the first half of the year, I didn’t even get to experience the pride seniors feel walking the halls for their last year. The class of 2021 has undoubtedly lost the majority of their senior experience. However, this does not mean we are all unhappy with this year.
Staying at home has taught me a lot of things. I’ve learned to be more self-sufficient, and I’ve learned how to manage my own stress and time better. I have also learned the value of school and relationships. Not being at school has shown me how much more engaged I am in an in-person environment simply because I enjoy being around people.
Learning from a computer does not foster a successful learning environment. In online meetings, it is hard to ask questions and get clarification on assignments. That leaves students to guess at assignments and will ultimately lead to frustration. I’ve noticed that in-person school is also one of the best stress relievers out there, as weird as it sounds. Being able to go to school and talk to friends and teachers about what's going on in your life is cathartic.
Senior year has been great, but it definitely could have been better. I’m happy with how our last few quarters went because we were able to go back to in-person classes, but it's still disappointing that we lost our whole first semester. I’ve made memories I’ll never forget this year, and I’ve certainly learned plenty of lessons on life. Looking to the future, I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life but regretful that I have to leave my whole life behind. I love the friendships I’ve created here. I have friends who I know I’ll be close with for the rest of my life.
College does, however, offer a chance to reinvent me. When I leave, I can choose who I want to shape myself into. I can take what my hometown has taught me and use it in tandem with the knowledge I acquire in college. I am hopeful for the future, but I will never forget this little town that made me.