2021 PGHS Senior Perspective
As I walked the halls of Pleasant Grove High School for the last time on May 21, 2021, I thought about a quote from Dr. Seuss. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” If one thing will teach you this bittersweet lesson, it is the accumulation of four years of high school all wrapped into those last steps toward the parking lot. It all passed in the blink of an eye.
Freshman year. It was terrifying, nerve-racking, and exciting. To go from being top dog on one campus (middle school) to being at the bottom of the food chain was a jarring experience. All I could manage to think about was putting off my homework and focusing on which shirt to wear with leggings and Converse the next day. This was a year of trying to fit in-a year of surviving the chaos of a new school while maintaining my grades in order to keep a decent GPA. That was something I was not fully focused on before. I remember walking into class the first day and freaking out because, to be honest, being in a class with people older than me was SCARY. I would have classes with upperclassmen! However, they would be the people who would teach me how to survive and even thrive, in high school. Overall, I would define this year as an awakening. It was a time that looking back, I thought would last forever.
Sophomore year. I’d call it a God-defining, self-realizing and goal-setting time. I was ready for change. Yes, I still wore leggings and a t-shirt every day, but I upgraded from Converse to tennis shoes. This was the year where I finally started figuring myself out. It was the year that taught me to follow what God wanted for my life, even if that meant dropping out of athletics to be more devoted to art and interior design. I thought I had figured this whole life thing out. Yes, life was still filled with drama, but this was the year I learned staying out of it was the best option. Fitting in didn’t matter as much. I expressed who I truly was, and people appreciated it. I got to be a role model for the freshman, and this planted the seeds for me to become a student leader. This was a year of separation and growth toward what actually mattered for me, and all my future held. This was the year I learned to be the me I was meant to be.
Junior year. It got crazy, more crazy, and a little bit of unbelievable. I was finally an upperclassman! Talk about exciting. The hopes I had for this year were high, to say the least. While being told it would be the hardest year yet, I refused to accept anything less than amazing. I wanted to strive in everything I encountered and leave an impact everywhere I went. This was a lot easier said than done, especially after March 13, 2020. That was the day we had to learn to adapt to what would become the new “normal.” We were sent home and having to learn to cope with online assignments and life during a global pandemic was insane. It had its ups, including more time for personal growth, but it also had its downs when it came to social activities and what should’ve been my first prom. Strangely, I can’t imagine doing my junior year any differently. My class got to live through some of the most major history EVER, and now we get to use our experiences and all they taught us later in life. Don’t get me wrong, I disliked quarantine as much as anyone, but if there is anything that life throughout high school taught me, it is to find the light in every situation and work to spread it throughout the darkness.
Senior year. Finally, I made it! In the beginning, I would have told you this year was doomed, destined to be the worst year yet. There would be no prom, no social activities, no special memory making experiences for the seniors, nothing! I expected this year to be slow and disappointing. To say this was untrue would be an understatement. Senior year somehow, despite everything it entailed, became the best year of high school. I got to be a leader. I got to teach and be an example to the people around me (even when I didn’t know it sometimes). Everything that the past years had taught me was coming to fruition. Being different paid off, being bold paid off, being ME paid off! Yes, adjusting to masks and learning a new map of the campus was difficult, but I’m so grateful to the administration for setting these new boundaries when so many schools didn’t even meet in person this past year. My senior year was not what I expected it to be, but I am grateful for what it was. Senior year had its twists and turns, but I would not change a single circumstance; I know I was put in each one for a reason. I feel as if I conquered high school with my head held high and made an impact.
When it comes to the past four years of moments, I wish I could soak them in some more. I wish I could sit in some of those seats and listen to those last lectures one more time. This time, I would focus on remembering the details, making memories of the moments, instead of just making it through to the end of the day. If I could give advice to my younger self, it would be to take in the moments. These will be some of the happiest years of your life, and they really do fly by.