To all my fellow seniors…

Although social distancing has caused seniors to miss out on important moments, the moments gained throughout this year are still worth hanging on to.

I hope everyone has been doing well these last couple of weeks. I am sure this is not how any of us expected this year to turn out. Coming into the year, I bet we all saw this as our chance to make our mark on the school one last time. It would be the time to own the other team in the championship, to rock the stage in the spring concert, to have fun together at prom and to celebrate who we have become and who we are going to be at graduation. We have all looked forward to it at one point – especially when seeing the upperclassmen before walking down the school hallways, hoping to get that same, meaningful experience – but now, all those moments are either long gone or held by a single thread of hope – one that is slowly unraveling as time goes on. However, as we settle into our current state of the year, I want to affirm that just because those moments we have wanted are gone does not mean we need to sulk in our isolation. 

Yes, two-and-a-half months’ worth of plans have been nearly washed away, but that does not mean the whole year went down the drain. There are still plenty of moments from this year that are worth looking back on – especially considering that our year was one in which multiple milestones for the school were made. After all, not only was the gym remodeled, but we also finally gained an auditorium. Sure, our time with them was limited, but all the pep rallies, matches and concerts that we did get are still monumental memories that deserve to be looked back on fondly. Even if there are things we will not do in those places, we will still be remembered as the first seniors to go in and experience them for the first time. Plus, there are still plenty of those yearly activities – from Homecoming to fall sports to school club competitions last winter to everything in between – that we were able to do for the last time in our high school careers. There is fondness, satisfaction and hope to be found in many of those memories from this year, and a pandemic can never take those away. All things considered, the negatives of these next few months cannot change the positives of the last seven.

Of course, I know a lot of the developments from the last few weeks are not as easy to swallow. Our basketball team’s state championship comes to mind. Not to mention there were plenty of music students from BHS accepted into ND All-State this year. Plus, there are plenty of school clubs, sports and activities whose big events have been taken away from them as well. For all these people, I wish to say this. We won that championship just by making it to the tournament. We did well in All-State because we made the audition. We enjoyed the special events for those clubs because we participated. There may not be a trophy or certificate to show for it, but there is the spirit and passion we have found over our time at BHS. Dwelling on missed opportunities will lead nowhere. What is truly important is that we committed to those opportunities and have put in the effort to make this a great year, because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. We are not made losers just because of circumstance. Never forget that. 

Also, know that even if our year is different from other senior classes, we are not inferior to them. Our class is an adaptive one. We were the first sixth graders to go into middle school back in the day. Sure, not everyone was happy about it, but we still continued on and made the most of the situation. Quite similarly, these next two months do not have to be spent in disappointment. We can march on and finish off this year in whatever way it happens to end. It is still okay to be sad about all this. Just know that this year was far from a bust. So, as the school year winds down, instead of thinking about what could have been, try to take some time to remember the positive things that happened this past year. Those memories are special and do not deserve to be held back by this isolation. They are what make us feel better about who we have become, and as years go by, those are the ones that we can cling to for fondness. They are the true mark we have made for our senior year, and nothing could ever wipe that mark away.