Reflections From A Senior

Grace Macdonald

There’s a quote from The Office that really sums up how I’ve been feeling recently. Andy Bernard says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” It’s cliché and cheesy, but I think it accurately sums up how I feel about my senior year of high school coming to a close so unexpectedly. We spent so much time in high school trying to push ourselves as much as we could and be the best at a million different things that we so often forgot to have fun. How many times did I skip going to a Wednesday night hockey game at Playland to study for a test? Way more than I’d like to admit. How many times did I choose to do homework during lunch rather than talk to my friends? Again, way more than I’d like to admit. If I had known that a global pandemic would force my senior year to end two and a half months prematurely, I truly believe I would’ve acted differently. I would’ve allowed myself the chance to breathe and have fun and stop worrying about things out of my control. 

By no means was my high school experience always so perfect. While movies and television shows present us with this romanticized version of high school, it’s actually nothing like that. To me, Rye High is synonymous with stress of the highest degree. In fact, I can’t remember a time in high school where I wasn’t stressed out about something. But despite its many imperfections, I never realized how good high school was until it was taken away from me. If I could, I would go back to the beginning and really take it all in and be grateful for everything. I may be going to a university that is known for its unrivaled school spirit and sense of community, but I’ll never again be able to relive the small-town, homey feel that Rye High School provides. There will be no more Friday night USA-themed football games or Awards Assemblies. I’m even going to miss squash challenge matches, which will come as a colossal shock to all of my teammates. It’s inconceivable to me that I’ll no longer walk the halls of Rye High as a student; from now on, I’ll be a visitor who needs a nametag to enter the building. But there’s more than just the things I won’t experience again. There are things I never got to experience. As a senior class, we didn’t get to have a senior prom or wear our college shirts to school or play Assassin. We also didn’t have a proper graduation, but I think we got something better. 

Graduation is something that every student looks forward to. It is the ultimate symbol of our achievements over the last four years. It’s the final time the entire class is together before everyone goes off to their respective colleges and joins a new community. Unfortunately, the Class of 2020 didn’t get the graduation we envisioned. I won’t be able to follow in the footsteps of my mom, sister, and aunts and uncles that graduated at Nugent Stadium. Instead, we had a graduation car parade, and, unconventional as it was, it was truly one of the best days of my life. Not only were we able to see our peers and teachers one last time, but we were also given the most amazing send-off by the entire Rye community. I didn’t expect to see hundreds of people lining the streets with posters and whistles and Garnet flags, but as I’ve learned, one should never underestimate the people of Rye. I saw past and future Rye High graduates, old and current teachers, kids I’ve babysat for, elderly people, and even our retired principal at Osborn. The car parade was so special and magical, and I’m so grateful to have experienced it. It might not have been the graduation I expected, but it was a day I’ll never forget. As a senior class, we have faced adversity and disappointment, but we’ve kept our heads high through it all. It’s only fair that we’d be able to experience the most fun graduation Rye has ever seen. 

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my time at Rye schools. Since the first time I walked into Osborn School in September 2010 to now, I have grown, made long-lasting friendships, and created unforgettable memories. So, to everyone that has supported me along the way, thank you. To everyone that showed up when we needed them on May 31, thank you. I’m so grateful for the last nine years and so excited for the future. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!