Bird’s Eye View: Goodbye, senior year

Graphic+courtesy+of+Canva.

Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Meliha Anthony, Photo Editor

All the way back in August, we woke up five minutes before class, wearing pajamas, drinking coffee and wiping the sleep from our eyes as we logged onto Zoom for the strangest-ever first day of school. 

This year has been a lot of things. Turbulent, exciting, creative, weird; is there any one word that accurately describes it? It’s been wild, it’s been memorable. That much I can say truthfully. The Class of 2021 has been through a lot, but we’re stronger because of it, and we’ve earned our — thankfully in-person — prom and graduation, that’s for sure.

Fellow seniors, remember back in our freshman year when the school was trying out “freshman academy” during the controversial, newly-implemented flex block? Or the day we held a walkout to protest gun violence in schools? Then there was sophomore year when the school flooded and we had off of school for over a week; how could any of us forget that? We thought it would be the craziest thing to happen to us during high school — how wrong we were! And then, of course, there was the second half of junior year, when COVID-19 struck, and that’s followed us up until now. Our high school years have been deeply rooted in crazy, historic moments. But then, we also had the “ordinary,” the moments which defined us no less than those headliner events. The football games and dances, the trips to the diner after school, the beach days with friends during summer vacation. That time I walked out of my AP US History class with two friends, singing Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” at the top of our lungs. All the times spent bonding with people we might never have crossed paths with if not for school.

I’ll remember high school as a time of love, creativity, and growth, as cliché as that may sound. I’ve developed relationships with friends who have become like siblings, and teachers who have been mentors and friends; I’ve fallen in love with books and albums and movies that have moved and shaped me; I’ve grown into the person that I am today. Leaving high school means saying goodbye to a period of my life that made me into the person I am now, a time which gave me the confidence to try new things and fully experience life.

And now, we’ll all say our goodbyes and go our separate ways. Now, we’re in that strange liminal space where we’re not quite anywhere; we’re on the threshold of the rest of our lives, whatever they may hold, and it brings inevitable change. It’s both terrifying and wonderful.

Maybe, after the year we’ve had, I feel less emotional about leaving high school than I otherwise would have; but, as the sentimental person that I am, I’m still going to miss it. Yes, this year has thrown a wrench in everybody’s plans, and we’re not ending high school how we might have imagined or hoped. Yes, at times this year was grief and loneliness and constant change. But, it was also growth and resilience and not taking anything for granted anymore, and it was certainly not all bad, not by a long shot. Life is unpredictable, so maybe this was good practice. And honestly, in spite of everything, I don’t regret any of it. 

So, Emmaus High School, it’s been great — thank you and goodbye!