Darian Harding, Editor

Thirteen years. That’s how long I have been in school, as pre-preschool gives you that extra year. Everything I have ever done academically has been halted and now is blocking me from the one thing I have worked so hard and so long for, graduation. Senior year is supposed to be the best year of your life. I have been able to experience so much this year. I got to manage soccer for the second year, went to tournaments and matches in places I have never been; I got to watch as my boys win Western Big Six (8), I watched them beat one of the best schools that Rocky has ever faced. 

Senior year was THE year. I got to help create an award winning yearbook with my friends. I got to show everyone I was capable of doing my part in creating the book. If I would have known that this was going to halt my senior year, I would have done everything I did 1000% better that I did. I would have talked to my teachers longer. I would have helped them out with anything I could have; whether it was stapling papers, running things to the main office or the deans complex, hole punching papers or organizing papers.

This year I would have been able to go on the senior trip with all of my friends. No one heard this from me, but there is a chance that I am going to miss the good ole’ Senior Skip Day with my friends that Monday after my senior prom. Every year, the seniors get to go back to their old elementary schools and walk through their old hallways, see all their old teachers that helped groom them in their early years. There is a possibility that I won’t have the opportunity to have that experience.

I believe that it is important to have all of these experiences. I believe that it is essential for seniors to finish their final year of high school strong, memorable, and be prepared and excited to enter the “Real World” and for some to move onto the next level of education. Watching your son or daughter walk across the stage is a big deal to some parents. I know this because my mom cried at least three days before my brother graduated. She had to let her baby grow up into the string-bean redhead ginger he was meant to be.

I have had my senior night with the RIHS Boys Soccer team, but I feel like I won’t get the chance to play my final season of softball. I don’t play for my school, but I do play for RIGS, a slow pitch softball league, which has been my life for the last 7 years. It still would have been my senior season. I have created more bonds than I can count by playing with the girls who I call family. Softball has helped me balance my time. I get home from school, then chores, snacky snack time, start homework, get ready for softball, head to practice for 2-3 hours, go home and shower, finish homework, eat some late night dinner, go to bed. Repeat. Softball has taught me to build bonds, and work hard, and how to work together and how to understand my teammates so well to the point I know what they are going to do on the field before the ball is hit. (I am referencing my third basemen, I was her shortstop and she was my third basemen. We completely understood each other.)

As a senior, this would have been my last year to make something of myself and prepare me for college. The impact of COVID-19 has been different on the class of 2020 than it has been for everyone else. As I have said before, senior year is supposed to be the best year of your life. Everyone before us has gotten to experience their senior prom, got to walk the stage with their closest friends, as their family watches them say their final goodbye to the last 12 years of their life. 

Two-thousand and twenty has been a rollercoaster that is giving us all whiplash. Living through this time and trying to complete school has been a confusing and hard time. But I am getting through it, one assignment, a few emails and texts with my teachers at a time.