Class of 2020, it’s almost time


Ever since the start of second semester, in my opinion at least, it has felt as though the conversation of the senior class almost leaving was a topic bordering on taboo for the juniors. The threads of a sentence concerning the Class of 2019’s departure would be started, but with a few harsh looks from surrounding peers, it would immediately trail off into the empty air.

It was just too sad, too painful, too scary, too soon, too insert your adjective of choice. These people, the seniors, were never supposed to leave. Classes before them had always felt older, like they were predestined to leave us, so we avoided getting too close. But the Class of 2019 was the older sibling we had known our entire academic lives. The notion that they would graduate and move on in only a few months was so strange to think about, that it was easier to just ignore it completely.

Those months until the seniors’ graduation turned into weeks, which have now turned into a short number of days. Before May is over, our older sibling is moving out and stepping onward to bigger and better things. The Class of 2020, my class, will be the oldest, the supposed wisest, the last man standing. It isn’t a far off thought; it’s our near and immediate future. It’s frightening and crazy to wrap my head around, but I also think it’s going to be okay.

In the juniors’ post-spring break world, the blissful laziness of vacation was immediately halted by a week of standardized testing. During one of the many excruciatingly numerous moments of ennui I experienced that week, I found myself in a gym accompanied by my entire grade and a listless mind. As I looked around at nearly every single student in my graduating class, I was met with an odd feeling in my chest. After contemplation, I settled on labeling that feeling as pride.

There wasn’t anything tangible that I was proud of, merely the idea of all of us together in a shared space. I began to think about how this was the first moment of unity for us, and that many more were to follow. Hopefully, they would be more enjoyable than testing.

Another one of these moments was occurring at the Prom assembly during the annual Ranger Challenge of the mattress race. Of all the four grades, the juniors were the only ones who had 100% participation. I felt the fluttery wings of pride again while looking up at our empty corner of bleachers, populated only by discarded backpacks. I think others around me felt it too because the entire grade seemed to be filled with some ineffable power that led us to victory. When we were all cheering, I was so happy to be among everyone.

Losing the Class of 2019 is going to be hard. They’ve been wonderful role models and wonderful people. They contain some of my best friends, and it makes me emotional to think of them not being with me, with FHC, next year.

However, I once thought continuing without them would be impossible. I’m starting to understand that it isn’t. All it is going to take is for my grade to step up to the challenge in front of us. And if the past few weeks have been any indication, I trust that the Class of 2020 is going to do just fine.