Saying Goodbye

(This article is courtesy of student Lincoln Lake.)

As a part of the class of ‘22, I think I can safely say that my high school experience is one of the most unique. I was among the class that only had two full years of what can be considered “normal” school. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a giant gap was put right in the middle of my high school career. A mix of online school, masks, and distancing led to a very interesting high school experience. 

It all started during spring break of my sophomore year, March 2020. We had heard the news of a new, flu-like virus going around that came from the other side of the world. Thinking we had nothing to worry about, most people simply dismissed it and moved on with their lives. When the number of deaths in the U.S. started increasing, however, people’s concerns grew. There was an announcement that spring break would be extended by a week, two weeks, a month, and eventually the rest of the school year. This news was honestly crushing. Most rejoiced when they learned they did not need to return, but I for one couldn’t wait to come back. I love the learning environment. I love eating lunch with my friends, enjoying my time in class, and hanging out after school. But these were all taken away from me. There was no celebration for my 16th birthday because of Covid-19. Knowing I was missing out on all the amazing things that being a high schooler had to offer left me feeling empty and lost. Lincoln Lake

Things began to change during my junior year. We began with the new norm: online school. I think I can speak for most of my class when I say this was the most grueling part of “school.” Waking up every morning, rolling out of bed, and going on a google meet left me feeling farther away from normality every day. It became mundane. There was nothing we could do other than accept this reality. My friends and I often made the best of it. We would call on the phone during class, laughing and joking at every point we could. We always stayed together and helped each other get through anything. Later in the year, hybrid learning was introduced. The premise is to alternate between online and in-school classes. After a short period of time though, the number rose once more and we were back online again. It was short-lived, but it gave us a taste of normal school that everyone craved so dearly. Most importantly, it gave us a spark of hope for things to get better. And they did. In the last month or so, the numbers were good enough to return to full in-person classes. I could not have been more excited about it. Seeing all my friends and teachers again and not having to use a screen to do so made the whole year worth it. It ended on a great note, foreshadowing the return to normality of my senior year.

Senior year is by far the greatest breath of fresh air. After enduring almost two full years of online school, coming back as a senior could not have felt more empowering. A combination of classes with all my friends, early release, and interesting and compelling classes left me feeling as happy as I could be. I can confidently say that school is actually fun again. Aside from a fire drill every week because some freshman was vaping in the bathroom, school is normal. 

If there was any piece of advice I could give to those who feel lost during high school, I would say to always keep going. Every single person has an infinite amount of potential and I am confident that if people are driven enough, they can reach it. I wish everyone the best.

Lincoln Lake

Class of 2022