Outside the Classroom #7 – Looking back and moving forward


Nearly every weekday for the past thirteen years of my life, I’ve woken up in the morning for school. Moaning and groaning, bumping and grumping, I would shuffle out of my house, apprehensive of what awaited me within the brick or concrete walls of my school. However, what always awaited me were my classmates, my teammates, my friends.

Every year of elementary school, 5/6 school, middle school, and high school has taught me something about myself and my peers. The more I individually grow and the more the Class of 2019 grows together, the more I realize how perfectly irreplaceable this class is, especially in these last few weeks, when snow and ice shut off power and people were house-bound.

A common sentiment, one that is often lent to middle-aged people, is that you can’t live in the past, emphasizing that you must move on from what once occurred to what is occurring. But, in all honesty, sometimes the key to enjoying all that is right in front of you is remembering and feeling the past.

Watching the senior class bond together in a wild effort to make a lip dub was definitely an experience, between sprinting down pitch-black hallways in a race to arrive for the next scene and watching our senior videographers glide down the hallway on a rolling office chair with their camera. As everyone was giggling and wheezing in between scenes, it hit me there that most of these people I’ve known for way more than four years, a thought that made the experience all the more rewarding and memorable.

Watching someone I’ve known since the first grade, senior Maria Finelli, dance with senior Stephan McLenithan to the song Proud Mary with the biggest smile on her face for her Winterfest court lip sync and then go on to win Winterfest Queen at the Friday night basketball game was priceless. Overall, seeing everyone on the Winterfest Court, all dressed up and smiling, was so nostalgic, but the moment also completely belonged in the present. In the span of many years, there are many interwoven memories among classmates, each one making the present all the sweeter.

Watching FH seniors at senior night for boys swim and dive walk up to their parents whose faces were aglow with pride was another moment where I’m sure countless parents were flashing back to their child’s key life moments and also looking forward at all their swimmer/diver had accomplished. As I snapped photos and watched the scene play out, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia and panic. These people— seniors who’ve nearly spent their whole lives together—are moving on and away from high school in a short couple of months, and these iridescent moments will be some of their last memories together in high school. The weight of realizing that is both heavy with sorrow and incredibly light with freedom and joy.

Seniors are leaving in less than four months. In the large scope of time, four months is merely a blip on the radar, probably even far less than that, but through the lens of a microscope, four months is still plenty of time to leave our mark. And to continue making every moment sweeter, we’ll need to keep looking back to move forward.