Advice from the Class of 2022
Co-Editor in Chief
The high school experience of our graduating seniors and other classes is nowhere near ordinary.
As a graduating senior at MVHS, I can attest to the ups and downs of possibly the strangest universal high school experience ever. For the classes of 2020 to 2024, each student at every high school in the nation and at schools around the world have been impacted by the shutdown in March 2020.
What most people don’t realize is that the pandemic caused a chain reaction in a lot of people’s lives, and all students are extremely strong for pushing themselves through school despite all that they have had to deal with.
I’m not here to tell a sad story, however, it’s more important to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2022 and how much more their success means with all that they have endured in mind.
The current graduating class, including me, went into their freshman year in August of 2018. A lot of us played sports, went to homecoming and winter formal, and the seniors went to prom and walked at their graduation at the end of the year. Personally, I played basketball in winter and joined the swim team in spring.
I also started taking journalism my freshman year.
Sophomore year rolled around, with nothing but the ordinary. That year, however, I didn’t continue playing basketball, but I practiced swim year round and competed once again in the spring.
I had struggled with my mental health for the past few years, but unfortunately, I became increasingly depressed as well as physically ill as 2019 turned into 2020. I didn’t know what it was, but something was definitely wrong.
I was missing at least one swim practice every week, and I had to wait on the side of the lanes or sit out entirely for most of the ones I went to, because I was chronically exhausted, dizzy, and nauseous. I was physically unable to do what I had done just months before.
So, I made the difficult decision to quit the swim team, ironically, the week before the Friday that school got closed for over a year. I took everything out of my locker, thinking that the teachers that told me that we would never come back were being paranoid.
The end of my sophomore year consisted of attending a zoom once a week for one of my classes and doing a little bit of work for the rest of my classes online. I also took two AP exams that year, which were luckily modified, but stressful nonetheless.
After the first couple of months of my junior year, students had the option to attend a minimal block schedule in person, and sign in to zoom meetings as well. I was eager to do this at first, but the days that I was at home by myself made it hard to get out of bed.
I often set an alarm, rolled over, logged into my class, and watched it half asleep. I’m sure that a lot of students that year can relate to this.
However, my mental health got increasingly worse as well as my physical health, and I switched to only online school because I started attending an outpatient facility for most of the day in March of 2021. I got diagnosed, and had group therapy every day with lots of people my age who understood because they were going through similar things. I left in June.
I started going to different specialists to figure out what was wrong with me physically, and I got diagnosed with dysautonomia. I figured out that, since I had tried over a dozen different psychiatric medications over the past year and half, they were definitely wearing down on my body.
I am still a work in progress and don’t feel that much better than I did in 2020, but I am no longer taking antidepressants and I am working on my health every day.
The pandemic threw a wrench in all of our lives, and made it difficult for us to take care of ourselves and maintain happiness, while going through our own personal struggles.
I know that the entire class of 2022 and I are so proud that we are graduating high school and moving onto a new chapter in our lives, and that things are only going to get better from here. We have accomplished more than we were ever expected to.