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Lillian Rue Leonard
SHS favorite seniors making their last first day memorable!

This year, the graduating class of 2024 are preparing to walk the graduation stage. After having begun high school during the difficult “COVID year,” during which almost every student was online instead of attending school in person, they have faced many obstacles. Still, they’ve managed to make it out on top! Let us get an inside view on how these past four years have been for them, and how they have wrestled through the demanding times that came with both a global pandemic and high school. 


As we all know, in 2020, COVID-19 took over our world. Hundreds of thousands of people caught the disease, and it was quickly labeled as a global pandemic. Following the rapid spread of this sickness, schools shut down and went almost completely online. This year’s seniors were freshmen during this chaotic school year. They were entering high school as students on a screen rather than in-person. 


“It was really lonely,” Seminole High School (SHS) senior Amal Ahmed says. “I was at home all day, in my room, doing nothing. It was just super boring and depressing.” 


Due to the fact that nearly the entire school was online, it became increasingly difficult to incorporate yourself into class, and many students felt as if they were being left out. Motivation was at an all time low, and skipping class became a lot more frequent because it was so simple to do so. Many students stopped trying, and it dealt a large blow on both their grades and their confidence.


When students returned to school in their sophomore year, they were still reeling from the online year, but were expected to adjust very quickly to suddenly being real high schoolers on a real high school campus. 


“It was scary,” SHS senior A’Rianna Fleming admits. “I genuinely forgot how to socialize and became hyper-focused on my work.” Because students had spent so long online, many of them were struggling to make new friends. Socializing became more difficult than it had been before. Sophomore year became a time of relearning how to integrate back into a normal school setting. 


Even though it was tough, overcoming this obstacle was just another branch in the path that our seniors had to take. Complications like these were unavoidable, but the students of Seminole High School still managed to make the most of their high school experience. 


“Honestly, just always hanging out with my friends helped me get through it all.” SHS senior Lily Niel claims. “We did it together.” 


Students began to pick themselves up out of whatever hole they’d been in. They dusted themselves off and recovered quickly from the hardships that previous years had brought. The senior class of this year proved to be resilient in the face of adversity, and have, consequently, become just as resilient when it comes to any other issues they face. 


“It feels crazy to be a senior now,” Niel says. “I’m happy, but the years went by so quickly. It’s kinda nerve wracking,” she admits. 


Other seniors agree with Niel’s sentiment, describing how their years at SHS were a time of both highs and lows, but graduating is one of those things that is a mix of both. “It’s a new chapter of our life,” Ahmed reminisces about the time that went by. “I’m nervous, but I’m also really excited.” 


The Class of 2024 seniors have had a bumpy few high school years. Of course, it is bound to be that way, but our seniors depart with advice for their underclassmen so their ride isn’t as difficult. “Stay true to yourself.” Ahmed suggests. 


High school is a time of finding yourself. It’s important to prioritize your work, but it is equally important to enjoy these years of your childhood. SHS seniors, after having reaped the benefits of high school, prepare to leave and step into a new page in the story of their lives. We wish them luck in the years ahead!

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