The 2020-2021 school year has been a unique one for the graduating class. Their year started with total online learning and eventually moved to a hybrid style. With so many changes, the senior class missed many Freeman senior traditions. Even so, their time at Freeman has not been diminished by this unconventional end of their high school careers.
Senior Emma Hennesey has been doing her best to look at the positive side of the situation. “This year has looked different and was disappointing at first, but it has ended on a good note and I was so glad to be able to go back in person to see all of my teachers and friends,” Emma said.
Emma’s classmate, Danny Piper, has kept a similar outlook on his senior year. He said, “There have been hardships, starting off the year virtually was a rough way to start, and even now in person it’s not ideal but I’ve stayed positive and really tried to make the most of it, and I think I did a good job of that.”
Part of what helped these students keep their positive mindset through the year were the small normalities they experienced, one of these being senior prom. “It looked a little different than dances normally do, but it was some sense of returning to normal and even with the restrictions the staff was able to make it a fun experience,” said Danny.
The teacher versus student kickball game was another event that helped make the class of 2021 feel a little more normal. “I think a highlight [of this year] for me was probably the kickball game against the teachers, even though we might have lost and Mr. Nicholas carried the teachers, it was still fun,” said Senior Thomas Brown.
Despite the difficult year, these students learned some valuable lessons that they can apply to their lives outside of Freeman. For Emma, one of these lessons was about taking advantage of each moment in her life. “Something good that’s come out of this year has been that I’ve learned to slow down and be present with the people I’m around – not rushing to just get things done like I constantly was before COVID,” Emma said.
Danny was able to practice managing his time better while taking his classes entirely online. He said, “Being online was a lot more freedom, so I had to adjust and still get all my work done.”
Through all four years at Freeman, these students have gained knowledge that they will remember beyond their high school years. Thomas said, “The most important thing I’ve learned is probably perseverance and being resilient. The ability to keep moving forward through hardship and difficulties that we may face.”
Experience is a vital part of life and this is something Danny gained through his years at Freeman. He joined the chess club not thinking he was going to enjoy it, but found the game much more exciting than he anticipated.
“Put yourself out there and try new things. A new sport, club, or class can change your perspective and high school experience for the better. You will learn something about yourself, while making friends and memories at the same time,” Danny said.
The senior students have managed to find the bright side through such a trying year and have learned to take every moment as it comes.