Senior Goodbye: Chocolate box

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Olivia Lauter

“Senior year has been a melted chocolate — one you save all day to open later only to find out the hot summer day has ruined it.”

Hannah Cole, Staff Writer

Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.

As cliche as this simile can be, my high school experience can really be summed up in this manner.

Freshman year was a mysterious filled chocolate, full of promise and intrigue. My parents dropped me off at LHS at approximately 8:40 a.m. on August 21, 2017, and I was full of a myriad of emotions: I was hopeful, I was excited and I was absolutely terrified. The school was much bigger than WSMS. I had no idea how I was going to find all my classes, and the amount of people in the hallways at any given time seemed downright infinite. I even remember shaking as I sat down in my first AP class ever: first period HUGAP with Mrs. Lewis.

I was promised many things as a freshman — the phrase “You’ll get to do this as a senior,” was thrown around quite a bit in the girl’s soccer locker room. I looked forward to standing on the floor of the bleachers during football games, cheering on and finally winning PowderPuff, watching my friends showcase their talents during Mr. Lovejoy and dancing the night away at prom. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I had very high hopes.

Sophomore year was a tiny bite of chocolate from the entire bar. This was the year I began to look at colleges, touring UT Austin, OU, OSU, UMich, UMinnesota, and Arizona State within the year. Suddenly, high school life began to shift to what was beyond high school, and, I’ll be honest, I had quite a bit of senioritis (as a sophomore, no less) as a result of all the new opportunities that had opened up to me. The world seemed bigger than ever, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it. 

Junior year was like one of those huge chocolate bunnies, or a giant Hershey’s kiss – a daunting challenge at first, but came with lots of rewards. While I had challenged myself the previous year with WHAP and AP Music Theory, I upped the gamut by taking 5 AP classes my junior year: biology, seminar, U.S. history, statistics and lang. Bit by bit, I chipped away at the proverbial chocolate, passing test after test and learning concept after concept. I was on top of the world, nothing was going to bring me down.

Until it did. Everything changed on March 11, 2020.

Senior year has been a melted chocolate — one you save all day to open later only to find out the hot summer day has ruined it. As COVID-19 continued its spread around the globe, I knew very early on, I wasn’t going to have a typical senior year. And while I’m aware of the necessity of the precautionary measures taken by the district (quite in favor of them, actually), I still can’t help but feel disappointed. Football games? All students had to stand on the bleachers, in a new student section, socially distanced. PowderPuff? Canceled. Mr. Lovejoy? Canceled. Prom? Canceled. The senior year I was promised just four short years ago disappeared in an instant.

As I pondered on how exactly I was going to approach this column, my initial fear was I was going to get so far caught up in the negatives that I’d neglect to reflect on the good parts of high school. While this senior year might have not been what I’d hoped, that doesn’t mean other classes will have the same experience I did. So, I’d like to close with some advice.

Look forward to the future: Dream big. Imagine. Imagine yourself standing on the dance floor at senior prom. Imagine yourself touring your dream school and falling in love with every step. Imagine yourself yelling until your voice goes hoarse for your class’ team in PowderPuff. Imagine yourself walking across the stage, accepting your diploma, and realizing you had an amazing high school experience.

Challenge yourself: Nothing is more crucial to developing good character than stepping outside your comfort zone. So join that club. Talk to that new person at lunch that you’ve never seen before. Eat in the band hall with one friend and a myriad of others you’ve never spoken to. Volunteer to go first for that presentation. Take that AP Class, and absolutely ace it. You have the power, you have the potential. Embrace it.

Live every moment to the fullest: I guarantee you no one foresaw a global pandemic interrupting the normal school year this year. This only goes to show that everything can change in an instant. I’d be lying if I said I’m leaving high school with no regrets; I had lots of big things planned for this year that ended up impossible, so I encourage you, dear reader, to shoot your shot. You never know when everything might change.