A year full of lasts

Morgan Nesbitt, Editor

Senior year of high school- the year that was supposed to be a year full of lasts. Growing up, I was heavily involved with my school. Whether it was with marching band, Theatre, CNA class, extra curricular activities, or overall just volunteering and putting my extra time into the school, that means so much to me. 

I have always loved the thought of being a senior in high school. I was always so excited to be a “big kid”, or as I used to understand it, I was so excited to “run the school.” I always looked up to seniors and could never imagine when it would be me. Freshman year, I would sit with my best friend on my color guard team, Anna, and we would talk about how we were going to be senior captains of our team one day, and how we have such a long time until that’s ever us- until it actually became us.

August 1st 2019 was the first day of my senior year. I marched my last band season, I had my last Homecoming Week, my last Homecoming Assembly, where I completely embarrassed myself in front of the whole school with my dance moves, but had the most amazing time doing it, my last Homecoming Parade, where I got to ride in a convertible (I felt way too cool even though it really wasn’t a big deal), marched my last ever Homecoming Game, and of course my last ever Homecoming Dance, I got announced at Senior Night, and marched the Almquist Field for the last time, marched my last ever band competition at Bands of America, I gave my senior speech at Bands of America, and I finished half of my clinical hours for my CNA class. By the time Christmas Break came, I was ready for a little bit of a break just like any other high school senior.

January 7th, 2020 was my last first day of my second semester of high school. I came to school with a completely new schedule and I was beyond words excited to see what my second semester had to offer me. The last semester of high school for me consisted of my last winter guard season, my last musical, my senior prom (I bought the most perfect dress that I was so over the moon about wearing), and, of course, I would graduate from Blackhawk College for my CNA certification, and I would also graduate with my high school diploma from Rock Island High School. 

Spring Break 2020 comes, and it’s time for my annual family vacation, except this time it was my senior trip to Mexico. I had the time of my life in Mexico until I heard from my sources back home that the virus COVID-19 had been labeled a “state of emergency” and a global pandemic. Luckily, we made it back home to the U.S. before president Donald Trump shut down all of the borders and traveling all together. Never did I expect that I would just never go back to school to finish my senior year after spring break.

When I got home, I found out that all schools were cancelled until further notice. I didn’t want to imagine the worst scenario, so I kept telling myself that of course I would have my prom, musical,  and graduation. Why would they take everything I’ve ever looked forward to away from me? Why my senior year? I felt like everything I have ever worked for since I was in Preschool had been taken away. All of my fun final high school memories, stories to tell in the future, and the most precious moments of my young life were just ripped away from me. I felt like I am now being forced to grow up when I should be embracing every last moment of my teen years before adulthood is supposed to hit me. I can sadly say goodbye to every last first high school memory I’ll ever have.

 Here, I sit at my house, stuck in this quarantine, looking for every last glimpse of hope that might exist to maybe get a few weeks left in high school, realizing that I am not alone. Seniors all across the nation know the pain of not being able to make the last memories last. Eventually, we as a country will overcome this tragedy and things will be normal again, however missing the most precious moments of my life will never be brought back to me, and right now I’ll just have no other option but to be okay with it. Thank you RIHS for a great high school experience. It’ll surely never be forgotten.