As senior year draws to a close and the amount of sunsets that remain until graduation ticks closer and closer to 0, I’ve been looking back at what this year of absolute ambiguity has taught me. Sure, it’s taught me the importance of hand sanitizer and how to implement the Happy Birthday song into my hand washing routine, but it’s also taught me life lessons that I’ll carry with me long after I walk across the stage in a red graduation cap.
- Never take one boring old day of school for granted. Because you never know when you’re going to get the grand email that school will be shut down “for 2 weeks.” I’ve learned that just one class or one lunch period can be full of so many memories or so many side-splitting laughs.
- Treasure your friendships. When you can’t see them for months on end, you start to realize the value in your lunch conversations, your passing period greetings, or even your free period last-minute studying. What seemed tedious and boring just 18 months ago has become something I look forward to everyday.
- The universe will put you exactly where you need to be. It’s hard to believe, I know. This time last year we all felt a little bit lost. We felt like moss was growing on our bodies as we rotated from our beds to the couch and back to our beds. We may have felt like our homes were the last place the universe needed us to be after we’d been holed in for 2 months. But, I’ve learned that the universe will put me wherever I’m needed, even if that’s lying on my bedroom floor on Zoom for a year.
- We’re all so strong. To be able to abruptly stop our school year, adapt to online learning as well as adapt to the entirety of our world shutting down, and still keep going even after all that, is absolutely incredible. We’ve conquered so much before we even step across the stage at graduation.
- The unity of our friends, our peers, our school, our state, and our nation is pivotal. We’ve seen this trend before, mostly in times of desperation such as in wars or 9/11. And COVID-19 was and still is a time of desperation. But, we’ve been able to come together as a community and take care of each other. We did drive-by birthdays, Zoom gender reveals, and even showed our gratitude to essential workers through sidewalk chalk exhibitions. We talked on the phone, rediscovered the value of Facetime, and reached out to those we may not have had contact with.
Ultimately, this senior year, comprised of the aftermath of COVID lockdowns and the continuation of a virus rampaging our nation, has been less than ideal. But we’ve been able to conquer. We’ve been able to come together. We’ve been able to learn about each other in ways we could never have imagined. We’ve adapted to this new normal and thrived.
We’ve taken AP tests amidst a national lockdown, applied to countless universities that we couldn’t even visit, and we’re making crucial decisions about our future right now, despite the uncertainty that has fogged our past year.
Way to go, Class of 2021. Despite this absolutely insane year, we’ve prevailed (and succeeded!).
Photo Credit: Kayla Makes