As graduation approaches, the senior class of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have begun to reflect on their experiences over their past four years of high school, in addition to what they have learned along the way.
Especially due to the majority of seniors having participated in online learning over the course of their final school year as a result of COVID-19, many are thrilled that there will be an in-person graduation on June 8.
“I’m really looking forward to graduation, especially because it is in person and I’ll get to see all of my friends and teachers,” senior Nicole Bopp said.
For the students, the ceremony marks the end of an era as they complete their high school education and move onto the next stage of their lives.
“I’m excited to leave high school and for my future, but I’m aware of how difficult of a change it will be and how parkland will always be my home which I feel nostalgic about,” senior Ciana Stellar said.
While Stellar is excited about graduation, she feels unprepared as college nears. Having missed large aspects of both freshman and senior year, the reality of jumping into a schedule filled with rigorous courses, in-person classes and an entirely new social setting is quite unsettling for her.
“I feel like I missed out on two large developmental parts of my high school experience…[and] I feel unprepared,” Stellar said.
As the graduating class continues to look back on the experiences endured, they are able to identify what they have gained from it all. The hardships, friends, family and teachers have been a constant source of support, encouraging them when needed.
“There were definitely many sour parts of my high school experience, but overall I enjoyed it due to my friends,” senior Kayla Sibble said. “As I move forward I will take with me the hope and determination I gained from MSD.”
While there were various obstacles along the way, there were also several memories that the class has cherished. Whether it be school trips taken with friends or spirit week each year prior to homecoming, the times they shared with friends seem to be the most memorable.
“One of my favorite high school memories [is] the pep rallies before [homecoming],” Sibble said. “Being able to dress up with my friends and play games at school, it was always just such a fun time.”
As the class of 2021 nears its end, they take along with them the skills and memories that have shaped them into who they have become today. With graduation around the corner, the seniors face a bittersweet goodbye, nearing the beginning of countless new experiences while reaching the end of their high school one.