Irregular high school experience taught the Class of 2022 to appreciate the little things
On August 2, 2021, when school board members voted to start the senior class of 2022 with mandatory masking, hope for a return to normal for the year seemed too out of reach. Now, despite the rollercoaster-filled year that followed on-off mask policies, a canceled WoCo pep meeting, and impromptu staff and replacement shortages, the outstanding tenacity of the Class of 2022 stands before them as one of their greatest defining qualities.
Whether it’s watching senior Allison Rader scream victoriously after winning the class musical chairs practice game, watching senior Katie Schwartzkopf cross the finish line to win the state cross-country title country 5A, to rush onto the field at Carnie Smith Stadium to celebrate the state football team. three-time world champion, seniors have been repeatedly reminded of the importance of cherishing all of life’s moments, big and small.
Filling the stands at the first football game of the year reminded the seniors of how much they miss bringing the community together. Seeing seniors Laird Toland and Lauren Payne being crowned prom king and queen at Arrowhead Stadium rather than in a livestream reminded us how much we want to be present and in the moment. The cheers in the main gymnasium when the Relay For Life Presidents revealed over $100,000 raised in the fight against cancer reminded us how much we have missed celebrating our accomplishments and successes in the presence of our peers. The Class of 2022 had no shortage of “final experiences” to remind themselves of the fact that nothing should ever be taken for granted.
Losing the normalcy of their sophomore year of high school careers to COVID-19 and ultimately watching the disappointing and uneventful senior year of the previous class was enough for any high school student to ask, “Why us?” Why now?” A junior year marked by uncertainty has left seniors wondering if normality will return for their senior year of high school. unwavering courage and resilience that begs the answer “Why not us? Why not now?”
Years later, when this year’s grads reminisce about the crazy four years that shaped their high school experience, this year’s seniors should remember the sea of blue that was home when they sang “22.” of Taylor Swift loudly. They should remember what it felt like to walk through the halls of Mill Valley for the last time as teachers and students lined up to cheer us on. They should remember how far they had come and how much they cherished when they remembered not to take life for granted.
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