My Perspective

Ellie Maranda, Editor

My perspective on school has been quite polarized during this quarantine. On one hand, not being able to attend school every day has made me miss it and regret all the times I thought, “I don’t want to be here right now.” However, as someone who is busy the majority of the school year with several AP classes, extracurriculars, and a job, I can also appreciate this opportunity to relax. Not only has this pandemic changed my outlook on high school, it has also altered the way I view my upcoming freshman year of college. 

At times, I truly miss school. I regret all the mornings I woke up to my earliest alarm and thought about how much I wanted to go back to sleep, not get up, and get ready for another day at Rocky.

I think back to all the times I smiled at my friends in the hallway between classes, and how I’ll never get to experience that with the same people ever again. I miss my amazing teachers, and how they made me look forward to learning new material each day. I miss the structure of the school day, and the familiarity of my schedule. I miss my slightly malfunctioning locker, right next to my friend Julia’s.

— Ellie Maranda

I miss the band room and playing music in the ensemble, in which I felt I belonged more than anywhere else in the world. I kick myself now for not always appreciating the things I loved most. If I had known during these experiences that they would be my last, I would have cherished them more. I enjoyed the majority of the time I spent at Rocky, and I definitely would have taken time to look around me and take it all in on my last days, if I had known they were the final ones I would have at my now alma mater. 

Despite the fact that I made the most of my high school experience, it was never easy. I took a total of seven AP courses over my four years, as well as an additional five Honors courses. Maintaining a 4.0 weighted GPA while in these classes was a difficult task, and though it was worth it, I was constantly overwhelmed. I was also very active in extracurriculars, like band. I played in the Symphonic and Pep bands, as well as holding a student leadership in the marching band for two of my four years as a member. I also enjoyed being a member of the Pit for the spring musical my junior year and a few weeks of my senior year before it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Along with the band, I was a member of NHS, an editor in the journalism program, and participated in the Rocky Riveters. Outside of school, I worked at an ice cream store part time, usually three or four days a week, which made it even harder to manage my time. I loved being as involved as I was and never regretted a minute of it, but it kept me very occupied and rarely left me free time. This quarantine has given me a well-needed chance to destress and lower my anxiety levels regarding my education. The opportunity to clear my mind has been an unforeseen silver lining to this pandemic. 

Being seniors, my class is obviously worried about the ending of our last year of high school. But something else that could be impacted by this virus is the beginning of our freshman year of college. Since the first time I visited the college I plan to attend in the fall, the University of Iowa, I have been optimistic about the future and highly anticipating August 2020. Since choosing my school, I have visited the campus numerous times, made countless friends through social media, and began planning the new chapter of my life. Equally as heartbreaking as the alteration of the end of high school for me is the possibility of a delay of my freshman year at UIowa. While we all have been anticipating senior year traditions like Prom and graduation for years, I’m sure most of us have had dreams of attending college after high school for just as long. Possibly missing out on something as pivotal as the beginning of our freshman year of college is an overlooked side effect of this pandemic. Since the beginning of the virus, it was easily predicted that senior year would not go originally as planned. But I never thought it would stick around long enough to ruin something that seemed so far away. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way I view school. While I miss a lot of the experiences I had at Rocky day to day, I can also appreciate the chance to slow down and appreciate the lack of stress I have now. Another aspect of my education that could be altered by the pandemic is the beginning of my freshman year of college, which I have been looking forward to for years. At the end of the day, this virus has changed aspects of life that we predicted would not be the same in addition to others we did not ever see coming, but all we can do is try to stay optimistic despite the uncertainties.