SENIOR ISSUE OPINION: Letter from the editor


Reena Alsakaji, Editor-in-Chief

Friday, May 5, 2023. A week ago, the World Health Organization declared the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Four years ago, when we were all overeager, anxious freshmen, the virus was declared as a national emergency.

I find it both fitting and ironic that our class saw its beginning and its “end.” I’ve always thought—though I’m sure other classes feel the same—that the class of 2023 was unique. For all intents and purposes, our class was not exactly robbed in the way others’ were. We got to laugh with one another at both our junior and senior prom. We had a final homecoming pep session that was not maybe-or-maybe-not played by our MRT teacher like it was for seniors two years ago. We had our homecoming parade that spanned the entire town, and in a few days, we’ll get to experience Battle of the Bands for the first time in two years. Our class has received so many “after-the-pandemics” that others’ did not. 

Yet, our class feels fragmented. It seeps through in our interactions. Whether it was the long anticipated ‘80s workout day that lacked an actual workout, or our inability to decide on a collective spirit day (I stand by country club over Adam Sandler), we seem to dance around one another, unsure of how to act. Mostly, out of all these detachments, the one that has upset me the most is how it impacts our education. Our class did not unite in an anything-but-a-backpack day expedition (or an attempted one), but we did venture through four incredibly different and difficult years.

We all know that apathy exists, and we are all acutely aware that we have less school spirit than in years past. I once had a teacher tell me that it would take ten years for a class to remain completely unaffected by covid, and how much more is there to possibly add to the list of what we all know? But I began my high school career with mountains of self-doubt on my shoulders, and though I’m ending senior year with a bit more confidence, I often wonder how much the pandemic left us each hiding in a more comfortable, less ambitious world.

My unsolicited advice is not about repeating known facts about post-pandemic fatigue or awkwardness—though I do think it is valuable. But I know that along my journey of growth in these four years, I still feel inadequate for the world that lies ahead—and I know, from the fleeting moments I’ve had with all my fellow seniors, that others feel the same. As we move into the next years of our lives, whatever shape that may take, I hope that we can find solace in what makes us uncomfortable—what is supposed to make us uncomfortable. Above all, I hope that we can learn to interact with our peers in a way that is authentic.