Ladies and gentlemen, we did it. With the end of the school year so tantalizingly near, and the get-me-outta-here mood having settled resolutely on every person on campus, students are getting ready for an ambiguous summer. Having completed a truly historic year under unprecedented circumstances, Warriors are reflecting on their experiences of what can most accurately be described as a once-in-a-lifetime type of education.
To be virtual or not to be virtual? This was the question kids around the globe had to tackle as Covid numbers remained particularly high during the fall and the risks of catching the virus stood apparent. One student who decided to play it safe was Riddhi Gosavi, a junior here at Memorial who wasn’t about to let a virtual schedule stop her from loading up on AP classes. Juggling a myriad of some of the hardest courses FISD has to offer, Gosavi can attest first hand to the value of staying on top of things, especially in a pandemic. “Communication is key. Teachers, students, and staff have had an unforeseen year, and I found that simply communicating with my peers and teachers at times helped us all feel less alone and more in control during the pandemic,” Gosavi explains. Despite the seemingly refreshing prospect of entering her final year of high school, the junior remains somewhat skeptical about what the future carries. “Honestly, [I’m a] little anxious for what the next year will hold. This pandemic hit us all quite unexpectedly…let’s hope we’ll see the last of it very soon!”
Those who chose to attend in-person are quick to tell you of both the good and the ugly in the ordeal. Marques Watson, an involved junior and a self proclaimed-perfectionist, is thankful for a break from tiresome academics. “I’m happy it’s coming to a close. This year has been very stressful and we have had to navigate challenges unheard of before the pandemic. I’m looking forward to returning to somewhat of normalcy next school year,” Watson elaborates. Even with the taxing nature of a Covid-dominated school life, Watson reflects on the valuable lessons he’s attained because of it, “I have really had to learn about how to manage my time effectively. When we had asynchronous school it was really easy for me to put off my work or wake up late. However, I quickly learned that I need to stick to a schedule and that procrastinating assignments will come back to haunt you later.”
Aside from school-related or academic skills being learned, there have been major epiphanies on the necessity of practicing social niceties at play as well. On the failure of some to adhere to proper mask wearing and safety guidelines, Taveion Neasman, junior, didn’t hold back his frustration. “From not wearing masks to not following the seating guidelines in the cafeteria, the fact that a great majority decided to ignore Covid regulations was truly upsetting.” However it wasn’t all gloom and doom for the soon-to-be-senior. Neasman also acknowledges the chance to strengthen friendships the pandemic has provided, saying “This year forced me, along with so many others, to communicate with friends in a new way that was unimaginable before. In a world of staying 6 feet apart from everyone, it became difficult to get close to people, but this school has taught me that it was possible. You don’t necessarily have to be close to someone in proximity in order to build relations with them.”
From those at home to the ones in person, Memorial Warriors have had to learn to adapt, evolve and no matter what, always move forward- even if there’s a terrifying virus rampaging the planet. Far from let their spirit be drained though, the student body here has persevered in every sense of the word. They’ve done so not without fault (see Taveion quote) and not without considerable taxation on their psyche, but they did it with the determination and drive that has come to define this school, and most importantly, they did it together. And with that, the Memorial Journalism Staff would like to wish y’all a very happy- and socially- distanced- summer! Stay safe Warriors!