Ice Cream Sandwich

By Ava Freeman, Online Editor-in-Chief

If you were to ask me three years ago how I pictured my senior year I would have described the perfect conclusion to high school, filled with football games, pep rallies, school dances, senior trips and everything in between. I anticipated it being the ideal final chapter to finish out all of the ups and downs that were my high school experience. However, as we all know, this year was far from what I just outlined, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t packed with countless memories, crazy stories and valuable lessons that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

When reminiscing on this past year, it is easy to become fixated on what the senior class missed out on. But, at the same time, it’s hard to imagine it going any other way. Ironically, in a sense this pandemic that has forever changed our lives brought the class of 2021 closer. While we weren’t able to be together physically, we all got through it and now share a new appreciation for the valuable time we have with one another. We made it to the end of this unforgettable year together and will forever be connected because of it.

Once again, looking back at my freshman year self, not only was my vision of senior year inaccurate, but my perception of a senior was also far from the truth. The biggest misconception I had was that seniors had it all figured out with a clear path to their future. However, this year proved to be filled with more question marks than I could have ever imagined. From applying to colleges, to choosing a major, to discovering new interests, I was constantly faced with feeling unprepared and confused as to what I wanted life after high school to look like. But, what I eventually realized was that it is okay not to know and that eventually all the pieces will fall into place, and that is something I wish I could go back and tell my freshman self.

Reflecting on the past four years, while I don’t remember where I sat in every class, every quiz I took or every random fact, that won’t necessarily be useful in my life, that I learned, there are certain memories that I have made and people that I have grown closer to that have made a lasting impact. Finding out my cheer team made it to states while on the homecoming party bus, dancing with my friends at glow, storming the field after winning the Churchill vs. Wootton football game, winning the homecoming skit our freshman year and laughing with my friends at the senior drive-in movie are just a few of the high school highlights that I know I will hold onto for years to come.

Another aspect that I know I will always remember and cherish from high school is the time I have spent writing for The Churchill Observer. At the end of freshman year, when I was contemplating with my parents about what classes I would sign up for and how I would boost my resume for the following year, I never would have guessed that my mom suggesting that I take journalism would have shifted my high school experience in such a significant way.

One thing that makes journalism different from any other class I have taken at WCHS is that every year you have the same people in your class (of course for the exception of the seniors leaving and a few new students that join the class each year). The J truly is a family with the perfect mix of different quirky personalities. While most of us are in different friend groups and don’t necessarily hang out outside of class, we have all become so close and I know many of us will be friends for years to come.

From brainstorming sessions in the hallways, to roaming the school to track down interviews, to long hours at after school production, to class parties, writing for The Observer has been one of the best decisions I had made in high school.

While I know this phrase seems redundant, high school really does go by in the blink of an eye. I feel like I was a nervous freshman only yesterday with no clue where I would be my senior year. High school is a time to grow, and even though things seem to be changing constantly, in the end everyone ends up where they are meant to be. Through all of the highs and lows and memories and life lessons, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the past four years anywhere else. With the closing of this chapter, I am eager to start the next and I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things the class of 2021 will accomplish.