Our new “tradition” in action on New Year’s Day, the second the clock strikes twelve.

Lauren Batterbee’s year in review

1. The first second of January 1, 2020. My family’s new “tradition” of dropping a beach ball instead of watching a ball drop continued.

2. I was a skunk in the Butterfly Ballet with Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company. While this doesn’t seem like a very good role, skunk is one of the hardest roles in the ballet and it is my favorite role I have ever been. I also had much fun learning it with my friends.

3. I was able to take on an adventure that I never knew would happen; I went to France a week before America shut down. I travelled with my family and had one of my automatic “Never have I ever” sayings taken away from me, but it was worth it for the memories, the good food, and the culture I got to experience.

4. My family is safe. No one in my family has received COVID-19 that we have knowledge of. We have all stayed healthy and safe.

5. My birthday was during quarantine, and although it could have been extraordinarily boring, my siblings made sure it wasn’t. We went on an adventure to different parks around the area, and when we got home, we made cupcakes together.

6. Half of my sunroom has been transformed into a studio for me. I have been able to continue doing what I love through the 9 months of confusion. I am able to dance and distract myself—even if only momentarily—by just stepping into my sunroom.

7. I was able to spend a week with one of my best friends. We made sure we were both being safe before the week and we were able to spend a week dancing together again. Swimming, walking, and dancing, we had an amazing time.

8. This year, I have had two bonfires with my best friends from elementary school: Liza and Rachel. We hung out, shared laughter, and didn’t freeze to death. I hope it becomes a tradition for us.

9. In about fourth grade, I started writing letters to my friends. Since then, it has come back and forth, but this summer, I started writing them again to two of my friends and it has been so much fun getting to hear from them more in depth. Although, I haven’t been able to respond as much since school and stress started, it has still been fun.

10. Last year, I went to Ballet Chicago for the summer, and I considered moving there for the year. This year, I returned to train there, but from my basement and sunroom for the summer, and I made the decision to train with them remotely for the year. I have improved so much and have had fun learning new choreography.

11. My schedule was not the most complete before school started. Four hours of my classes were locked in their own, but there was a complication. In the end, however, I was able to fit in every class I wanted to take.

12. I was able to spend the summer and the spring with my family. I wasn’t off in Chicago, and they weren’t off in the world. Despite their work schedule and my ballet schedule, I was able to have fun with my parents and my siblings all together. Not only that, but I was also able to take back a little bit of my childhood.

13. My siblings kidnapped me and took me to “Congressional candidate” after the AP World History (WHAP) exam. They decided after my stress-filled day, I needed a break. So, they “kidnapped” me and took me to “Congressional candidate” and we bought ice cream and went on a walk.

14. I didn’t fail my WHAP exam which was especially good because I thought it went well and that would be especially sad if I did fail.

15. I got my license. I am finally able to drive to my friends or drive around looking at lights. The road ready app is no longer taking up space on my phone.

16. My friend and I made it to around 137 hugs before hugs were cancelled. We were originally going for 2020 for the year, but we realized that was unreasonable and our new goal was 220. 137 is a good amount to have gotten before we were cut off from hugs.

17. I filled out a google form in January to try to become a columnist. Those, although rough in the beginning, ended up being my favorite type of story to write. I didn’t think I would get it, because many people with much better stories were also trying to be the same role. But I ended up with the job and my ability to come up with ideas increased.

18. On April 22, 2020, I joined a zoom call. In this zoom call, Mr. George offered me the role of Co-Print Managing Editor. From then on, I started brainstorming ideas and randomly started sending texts to Nat. I have become a closer friend with her and have had many memories of fun times trying to figure out how to make the print edition a reality. Although we haven’t been able to make the print edition yet, it has been an amazing experience.

19. My friends didn’t forget me when I don’t see them everyday. I get texts and FaceTimes from them. They didn’t forget about me and I am still their friend.

20. My parents make my days without my siblings—and many days in a row struggling without leaving our house—fun. They don’t mind my music playing around or waiting until 8 to eat dinner. They care about me and made this year great.

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