By Nikki Shekhtman
The class of 2022: graduating after completing two and half years of “proper” high school. The class that spent almost half of its high school career tilting chromebook cameras towards the ceiling during zoom lectures. The class that inevitably spent the most difficult year of high school reminding their teacher that they were on mute for the last ten minutes. The class that mastered the use of two laptops simultaneously when faced with a quiz on canvas. Although some may see the pandemic as a paramount obstacle, I see it as a growth-evoking experience. Stepping back into in-person classes our senior year spread a surge of excitement through students, for life was finally going back to normal.
Being online for a year and a half, isolated from friends and classmates, encouraged seniors this year to participate, to involve themselves in any available exciting activities. We took advantage of these opportunities, for we never knew when or if zoom would swallow our lives again.
As a freshman, I made a promise to myself: participate! Whether it be a rally game or a sports team, I would willingly participate and engage myself in something new. Junior year drained me of my diffidence, and I decided to try out for the school’s newly founded dance team. This experience gained me dozens of new friends, earned me the experience to perform at games, and lastly, and perhaps most impactfully, colored my white sneakers red (courtesy of the track). Being cooped up in my bedroom for almost half of my high school career influenced a spree of gratefulness for all the events surrounding my senior year.
I believe we have learned the true value of the thrilling events we have at school, not to put limits on football games, dances, rallies, etc. This year, participation levels of the senior class in related events tremendously increased, for we were exhilarated to finally fulfill our ideal “senior year!” As this experience comes to an end, I look back on the spirit of the student section at games, the roar of the seniors’ voices as we cheer during rallies, the smiles plastered on our faces while jumping to music at homecoming, and I experience a sense of gratitude. With college on the horizon, I can satisfyingly come to the conclusion that this year created memories that will last a lifetime.