Senior Luncheons – 2020


Riley Hurr

Senior and SNHS president Riley Hurr poses at an SNHS luncheon. Many of these luncheons were dedicated to the senior class, to honor and celebrate their achievements.

By Riley Hurr, Editor-in-Chief

I really don’t know how it is possible to fully encompass my entire high school experience in a few pages, but I’ll try to summon the Sparknotes inside of me to make that happen. 

I have loved every moment of the three and a half years I spent at WCHS. Yes, even the stress of finding a spot on Tuckerman (then not being able to successfully parallel park into it so having to find another), or making it back to sixth with less than a minute to spareI would go back to relive those memories any day. 

From the smallest stresses of an upcoming unit test and the late nights filled with Khan Academy and Slader to the smallest laughs that slip out in class and the late nights filled with adventures, high school has been a whirlwind of emotions.

Each year, the WCHS Observer finishes off the school year with its coveted Senior Section where the seniors on staff reflect on their high school experiences as well as the glorified doubletruck that shows where all of our classmates are going next year. 

Sure, we didn’t get the prom or the graduation or the tassels or commitment day pictures or senior luncheons (Room 126 you will be missed) that we so clearly pictured in our heads over and over again. But through these unprecedented times, I see our resilience, adaptability, friendship, selflessness and perseverance. So, thank you Class of 2020 for the hours spent on Zoom keeping me busy and sharing words of encouragement, and thank you Psych/TikTok/Club Penguin for some humor in an otherwise uncertain time. We Bulldogs are the strongest together. 

I used to joke that I spent more time at WCHS than I did in my own home. 7:35am I would arrive at school and (during Prodo week) 7:00pm I would leave. Sometimes, I would even stay after Prodo to catch the basketball game going on in the gym or to cheer on a friend’s performance in the auditorium. I truly sometimes did spend more time at school than I did at home. But, I never noticed because I saw WCHS as my second home and my friends and teachers as my extended family. 

So to the underclassmen, my advice to you is this: take advantage of every opportunity in front of you. From the ups to the downs and the big to the small, (and as cliche as this sounds) four years go by fast, so grab the front seat because you are in for quite the ride. 

As easy as it is to fall into this mindset of taking X AP classes, participating in Y extracurriculars and scoring a Z on the ACT/SAT in order to be successful, don’t. Take the classes you are genuinely interested in, get involved and active in extracurriculars you are passionate about and please, please remember that you are never defined by just a test score. 

High school certainly has its fair share of stress, but it’s important to remember to have fun. Live in the present and don’t postpone what you want to do. Take advantage of our location and go into D.C. Buy those tickets for that concert or music festival that your favorite artist is performing at. Find what makes you happy and get invested in that. 

Don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid to take some risks while you’re at it. Run for that officer position, try out for that sport, reach out to that classmate you’ve never talked to before and step outside of your comfort zone. 

In the movies, they portray these glimpses of what “high school” is like. Going into WCHS, I was hesitant that any of that could possibly be true but in more ways than one it almost was. 

I can still remember singing along to “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the student section at hockey states, sitting in Room 126 celebrating Pi Day (oblivious to the fact that that would be my last day of high school) and the many car rides with the windows down on our way to Krispy Kreme/Bethany/Gravelly Point/C&O Canal/Hoco pics/parties/field trips/[insert fun things to do around Potomac here]. What I thought were the most miniscule things at the time are now some of my favorite memories I’ve had thus far. 

WCHS is a big school, but once you find those communities within it, you’re set. So, to my best friends who have supported me through these past four years and laughed at all of my not-so-funny jokes, thank you.

To my favorite classes for not just their content but to my hardworking teachers and the friends I’ve made in themAP Chem, Mech, MV, Lit, Chinese, Comp Gov and World thanks for coming along this journey with me. I truly struck gold with all of the amazing people I’ve met at WCHS. 

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to have a teacher who makes you excited to really go above and beyond to learn the content. They can approach the same excerpt/poem/FRQ/DBQ that you’ve read over and over again but tackle it from a new angle you never saw or raise questions about it that you’ve never thought of. 

My favorite teachers taught me how to think, not what to think. They taught me how to use the astrolabe and calculate the tide, they didn’t just tell me the coordinates. They gave me the tools that make me confident I will be prepared for whatever it is I plan to do in the futureand for that I am forever grateful. 

To my fellow J staff, both past and present, thank you. Thank you for the endless laughs, memories and the everchanging meme wall. Thank you for making me see the J room as a home and a community inside such a school where it is easy to get lost. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to produce a paper, from the hours and hours after school in Prodo, to the editing and the interviewing. I’d like to recognize all the J staff for their hard work.

And finally, to the Class of 2020, some of you I’ve known since kindergarten and others I just met this year. We’ve been by each other’s side for every major milestone, and I can’t wait to see what amazing things you all will accomplish next. Skodawgs.