Senior Reflection: Four years at a glance (with a side of cheese)

Sophia Murray, Editor-in-Chief

My high school experience was far from traditional, to say the least. 

I started off strong with freshman year, which was then cut short almost four months due to a deadly pandemic sweeping the globe. Next, I spent the entirety of my sophomore year at home as a fully remote student, wishing and longing for things to go back to the way they were before COVID. And when junior year rolled around, I got my wish. But unfortunately, it wasn’t just the sporting events and school dances that came back, it was the anxiety and stress as well. Plagued by SATs and AP tests and pressures to find a prom date, another year had come and gone. 

And that brings me to senior year. Fortunately for me, things really started to turn around for me this year. I challenged myself by taking harder classes and getting more involved within the school community, but still made time for friends, going to school events, driving around scream-singing, getting Starbucks every day and shooting people with water guns. You know, the normal teenage experience. And just like that, it’s done. Another year over and in the books. But this time is different. 

Of course, they warn you about this feeling. They tell you that no matter how much you think you hated high school, leaving will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. I don’t know whether it’s saying goodbye to people I have known for 13 years or if it’s fear of the unknown that makes me want to stay in my little Algonquin bubble, but either way, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the past four years (well, 2.5 really) anywhere else. 

Like I said before, my high school experience was not normal and was far from perfect, but as I close this chapter of my life, I can’t help but notice all the little things I will miss: the excitement I get when teachers bring in candy after big tests, the smile that crosses my face when an old friend says hi to me in the hall and, of course, the cafeteria cookies that I’m 90% sure have some kind of magic ingredient to make any bad day instantly better. 

And while I’m sure this reflection is the cheesiest thing I have ever written, sometimes cheesy is a good thing, and sometimes being cheesy can distract us (and by us, I mean me) from how hard this goodbye truly is.