Back in 2017, a small, anxious freshman witnessed her first senior walk-in. She peered down over the railing from the third floor with her fellow classmates as she watched the class of 2018 kick off their final year as a Wildecat. The sound of cattle bells clanging, and the band performing down on Main Street filled the school with excitement. This small, anxious freshman was me, a student excited to start her first year as a Wildecat.
When I was an underclassman, I looked up to the seniors, and was anticipating the day I got to start the next chapter of my life. I envisioned my future, and what I would do once I graduated high school, in hopes of emulating the successes Wilde Lake alumni had accomplished. “Will I go to college?” “Will I stay on the East Coast or move to the West?” “What will I major in?” Hundreds of questions and possible plans raced through my mind.
I never realized how much I was constantly planning ahead, but never being present in the moment. I was too fixated on getting older and gaining more independence, rather than being appreciative of the great memories I was already making with my peers.
The coronavirus completely turned our world upside down, and left us struggling to find a new normal. Staying at home away from my peers made me realize how valuable my past three years truly were. Instead of longing for the moment I graduated, I wish that I spent more time cherishing the moments spent at school.
Reflecting on past years, I would definitely say junior year was the most special for me. I had two amazing English teachers who elevated my level of writing. I had so many classes with my friends, and I got the opportunity to create so many fun memories with them. I started taking Journalism, which gave me an outlet to share my love of writing on a wider scale. The coronavirus has given me time to take a step back, and reflect on the great moments I made at The Lake.
My final year of high school has been a guessing game. The coronavirus has taken away many aspects of a typical senior year, and I never knew what the year would have in store. Other seniors and I constantly wondered if we were ever going to be able to step foot in the school again, if we’d ever have a prom, and if we would even have an in-person graduation.
Although this year has been filled with uncertainty, I have still made many special moments. The prom the parents put together was an experience I’ll never forget. For the first time in forever, it felt like COVID-19 didn’t exist. I was able to let the stress of the near future off of my shoulders and have fun with my classmates. I also was able to experience two senior nights for volleyball and lacrosse. It was amazing to feel so appreciated by my teammates, and to have something that every senior deserves.
This unpredictable school year has taught me an extremely valuable lesson: Live in the moment, and be grateful for the little or large memories we make.
In 2017, a senior told my freshman self that these four years fly by. I didn’t believe it then, but it certainly is true. A message to all underclassmen, value every moment that you make at Wilde Lake, because you never know what crazy things life could throw at you.