Kristen Szafasz, Guest Columnist

I can confidently say that your high school experience was one neither of us could have predicted. You are one of the few classes in history that will ever experience going through high school during a pandemic. High school was supposed to be your time, your moment. It does not go unnoticed that your time here was taken from you. You missed four years of dances, in-person learning, competitions, pep rallies, spirit days and much, much more. You have endured one of the greatest challenges of our time, and you came out on top. You should be proud of how you navigated the water back to “normality.”  

Your class is the first class going out into a post-pandemic world. While many of you are ready for this new chapter, many of you might be afraid of what your future has in store for you. I know it feels overwhelming at times but remember you have already been tested. Wherever life takes you, always strive for excellence, even through adversity. We have seen all of you excel throughout your high school career during the most difficult of times. Whether it was through academics, sporting events, dance and speech competitions, robotics, theatre, etc, you all have put your stamp on MHS in some way. Take the skills you have learned here and put them into action. Your future must be filled with passion. You, as a generation, are about to change the world.  

But, before you go and become trailblazers, I would like to offer you one piece of advice—relish the moments you have left. We, as a society, get so caught up in what is to come that we forget to appreciate the now. Capitalize on your last few weeks, because there will be days that you miss high school and everything that comes with it (even if you think you will not). When that last bell rings, you will never walk through these doors the same way again. So, look around and cherish these halls, courts and fields. They hold your accomplishments. Thank your teachers. While they have challenged you, they have been your biggest champions. Gather with your classmates because this will be the last time you are all together. And, go out on those summer nights and reminisce. Life is unpredictable, so be comfortable before you head off into this unfamiliar world.  

As a former student at MHS, I can say with utmost certainty, you are ready. Take each day as they come to you. Your adult lives are about to begin and you will conquer them. I am excited about your future, and I know you are as well. But, please remember what you are leaving behind. I wish you nothing but happiness and success in this new beginning. Congrats, YOU DID IT!