Turning the Page to Senior Year

Kaiya McKinley

It’s hard to believe people when they say high school is the fastest four years of your life until you’re looking back, and realize how fast it really went. The Class of 2023 dealt with so much in three out of their four years at Rock Island High School. From starting freshman year in the classroom, to ending the year online, not sure what was going to happen due to the pandemic, then, starting sophomore year online, and later, having the choice to do hybrid learning or continue online, to finally, junior year, where we came back to school, and are in the classroom all together again. Sports started back up, along with clubs and other extracurricular activities. It is the end of the year, and the Class of ‘23 is starting to make that transition into becoming seniors. 

There is a lot to look forward to in high school, and senior year is a big one. The students start planning for their life after high school. Will you go to college? Or go straight into the workforce? Will you get into a trade? Or join the military? There are so many options and things to choose from, but there are many people you will meet along the way to help you in any direction you decide to go.

Many memories are made in high school that you will cherish forever. Junior, Aiden Henderson, says his favorite memory, so far, is from his freshman year, when he found out he was the captain of the freshman soccer team. He stated, “It’ll be something I will never forget.” 

During your time at the Rock, you will meet so many people who will impact your life all in different ways. Henderson says he will remember, “All of the smiles my teachers provide me with, every morning, even when things may be tough for them. It will always make my day.” A simple smile can do so many positive things to a person. He is thankful for the teachers that have pushed him out of his comfort zone to make him confident in who he is today. Although you may only have a specific teacher for a school year, or even only one semester, they can touch a student’s life in many ways.

An English teacher at Rock Island High School, Mrs. Shanley Resch, says her best piece of advice for students going into senior year is to get involved and do the work. She says, “Get involved to help make the school year fun. It is easier to come to school when you know you will enjoy it. Do the work. ]You only have one more year left. Do what you need to do to make it to graduation.” Henderson said his best piece of advice is to “not compare yourself to other students, because you’re not them. You are your own-self, living your own life, with unique circumstances.”

Mrs. Resch explains how tough the school year has been for all students. The transition back to traditional school has not been easy. She teaches junior and senior English classes, so she is working side-by-side with those students. She said, “Through this year, I have gotten to watch the junior students get back to opening up and enjoying learning. I know not all of the junior class is there yet, but I am hoping by next year, they will be looking forward to the upcoming school year.”

Henderson plans on graduating early in December of 2022, and moving to Utah to attend the University of Utah. He wants to study digital imaging/photography. He feels that high school is preparing him for the rigorous time management that college will bring on as a full time student. He explained the Rally and the Rock is his favorite tradition because it always brings a lot of excitement for the upcoming school year. For senior year, he is looking forward to “finishing my high school career off by being an example for our underclassmen to show what pride and confidence looks like.”