Reflecting on the last four years of high school: persevering through challenges (Commentary)

A student looks back on their high school experience after changing schools and going through a pandemic

Dance

On August 27, 2021, Mead held it’s first normal football game since the beginning of the pandemic.

Adley Wattier, Writer

As an incoming freshman, I had a lot of thoughts and feelings about what my high school experience would (or should) be like. I remember sitting in the gym and learning about all the extracurriculars I could join and all the awards I could win. I have to say though, I was never a student who strived for academic excellence. Instead, I spent my time trying to figure out who my friends were, navigating crushes and relationships, and of course trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after high school.

My freshman year was the busiest: I was attending Erie High and was part of two competitive dance teams. It was a lot to handle as a freshman, especially given that the high school workload was significantly more than middle school. Eventually though, it became a routine, and it was easy to navigate. 

Sophomore year felt the same way; it was smooth sailing until COVID-19 sent the world into lockdown. Every routine I had was completely flipped upside down. On top of that, I decided to transfer to MHS for my junior and senior years.

Starting junior year at a new school is already hard enough, but the entire first half of the year was online, making the transition even more difficult. My only form of socialization at a new school was during practices for the dance team I joined.

When the school finally switched to a hybrid schedule, I remember finding it painfully difficult to attend the in-person classes. When you get used to doing school work in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home, it makes getting up and dressed a lot less appealing.

Senior year was the first year since COVID-19 that felt somewhat normal. We had more Friday night football games, pep rallies, homecoming, basketball games, and held an official prom. This gives me hope for future students; maybe things will return to complete normalcy once again.

High school taught me many valuable lessons, and I strongly believe these experiences helped shape me into the person I am now. I will continue to reflect on these lessons in my adult life — when I am working, have kids, and in many other situations.

I know that the teachers and staff you meet along the way will help guide you through your education with much more ease than trying to do it all alone.

High school is what you make it out to be, and I turned mine into a fun and creative learning experience despite the many challenges that came with it. I encourage you to do the same no matter what comes your way.