As seniors prepare for college, juniors look back on their bittersweet memories together


Tz Cumbo'Nacheli

Tz and a few of her senior friends that she will miss

At the beginning of the school year, the halls of FHC lay bustling with hopeful, vibrant students, each one preparing themselves for the exciting, new adventures the year had planned ahead of them. Now, as the year comes close to an end, those same bustling halls have since been replaced with the ghost of what used to be.

The end of senior finals and the commencement of the senior’s recognitions marks the start of the seniors’ new beginnings in their life outside of FHC’s walls—leaving behind the juniors to step up in their place.

This has left a bittersweet taste in the hearts of juniors like Tz Cumbo-Nacheli.

“My boyfriend was a senior, and he was in my Pre-Calculus class and my Sports Report class,” Tz said. “So, not having him here is so different because now there isn’t a person that I can talk to. [It’s the same with] some other my senior friends, like [seniors] Gabby Hendricks and Abby Satterthwaite; I always saw them in the hallway. They were always like, ‘Hey’ [when I passed by them], but now it’s kind of like all the hallways are dull.”

Empty classrooms and quiet halls are becoming the new norm. However, in many classes, like junior Vaughn Cheslek’s yoga class, they are beginning to try to fill in that empty space.

“[Since our classes are more empty now,] the teachers are trying to compensate for the space,” Vaughn said. “We had a class join us for yoga during our nature walk. We had the class come outside with—like [History teacher Laura] Stiles’ class—to basically fill in for the seniors.”

Even though juniors and seniors may no longer be sharing classes with one another, that doesn’t mean that seniors are never to be seen again. 

I came to high school, and I feel like I haven’t even been here for two years.

— Eisley Sandefur

Although the classes for seniors may be over, the spring sports season treks on. As a result, juniors that play on teams with seniors still compete and practice with the people they no longer see in their day-to-day routine, which, for some, can be jarring and strange.

“Some of [the seniors] were in my classes with me, and so it’s weird not seeing them in those classes with me now but then seeing them after school for practice and stuff like that,” Vaughn said. “I’m used to a fixed schedule and seeing them every day, but now they’re not there. So, it’s just something to get used to.”

The seniors leaving has brought a melancholy feeling to the junior class; however, following that melancholy feeling, a wave of realization came: juniors only have a year left at FHC.

At the beginning of high school, freshmen are often warned to cherish their time in high school because it will all fly by in a flash. Many, like junior Eisley Sandefur, had simply brushed off the phrase as an ominous, overly done warning, but with their senior year approaching, the realization of their waning time is starting to truly settle in.

“I did not believe it at all [when people said to cherish high school] because I was thinking about fourth grade to eighth grade, and that felt like forever,” Eisley said. “But then, I came to high school, and I feel like I haven’t even been here for two years.”

Even though it may not feel like it, juniors will soon be the oldest at the school. 

As the oldest at the school, juniors carry the responsibility that comes along with it: juniors are now the class that incoming freshmen are going to look up to as an example. This has resulted in some taking on a role fit to help underclassmen succeed, whether that be actively helping underclassmen out or just setting a good example for them.

“I think, personally, I’m going to have more voice on what we should do to change school culture and the environment,” Tz said. “And I feel like I get to connect with all the underclassmen because that was once me; I was once that scared freshman, and now I can greet all the freshmen to the school through Connect Captains and stuff like that.”

Being the oldest in the school, there are a lot more roles that juniors need to take on for others, but, more than anything else, they are looking forward to focusing on and improving upon themselves.

Although the present may be bittersweet, they are looking to the future with hope: for it to be full of friends and memories.

“I feel like my biggest goal will definitely be focusing on college and where that’s going to take me,” Eisley said, “[I know that] that’s a big part of my future, and I know a lot of people’s futures, but besides that, I just want to make the most memories that I can with my classmates because we’re not going to be here for that much longer.”