Class of 2022 resilient through abnormal high school experiences


Sarah Craft

(From left to right) Christian Norrell, Sia Chaudry, Suhani Samaroo, Jasmine Conley, Matthew Mckeague, Melanie Garber, and Christopher Limm competing in the powder-puff dance off.

Luke Taylor, Staff Writer

The graduating class of 2022 has been subject to quite a few abnormalities and disruptions throughout their high school experience. Their freshman year started with an unexpected tornado, their sophomore year never actually finished and their junior year was mostly virtual, if not completely. Now, Clover Hill’s seniors are entering their final year of high school, with the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing. 

After schooling primarily at home for so long, seniors were thrown for a loop when seeing all students back in person for the 2021-2022 school year. Senior Maddox Vandevander was particularly taken aback by this big change.

“These first few weeks back in person have been chaotic. No one has seen each other for so long, and everyone’s trying to make up for months and months of no social interaction in just a few weeks. Everything’s happening so fast.” Vandevander said.

While social change of pace might be speeding up, seniors have noticed the academic side of school slowing down in ways that they are very excited for. Senior Rachael Saunders was especially content with the way her senior year had started academically.

“Now that everyone is in person, the teachers don’t have to pay attention to both virtual and hybrid students at the same time, so it’s been easier for them to teach. I think it’s been a lot easier for me to learn because of that,” Saunders said.

Another change that seniors have noticed is the opportunities presenting themselves at every turn. With their last two years not completed in the traditional way, there were many high school experiences that they’ve missed out on. Senior Jaden Smith expressed disappointment about the junior year experiences that he feels like he missed.

“I was pretty disappointed that we missed Junior Prom,” Smith said.

Other students expressed worry about how the experiences that they missed might harm their future education.

“I feel like I missed out on the opportunity to join clubs and take extracurriculars that I could’ve used for my college resume,” Saunders said.

Other students were disappointed in how the abnormality of the past two years has affected them socially. 

“I missed out on being able to see my friends for a while, and became much more withdrawn,” Vandevander said.

Although the class of 2022 missed many experiences in their sophomore and junior years, many are looking forward to rounding out their high school career with the traditional experiences that they have been looking forward to.

“I’m super excited to graduate, go to the football games, have spirit week, and have pep rallies,” Saunders said.

Many students were looking forward to specific experiences that they’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

“I’m excited for the powder puff game, because who doesn’t love getting out of class for a few hours? I’m also looking forward to prom. I’m not a huge fan of that type of stuff, but it’s a rare opportunity, so I feel like I have to,” Vandevander said.

Many seniors hope that the good times they hope to have this year will help their high school experience feel complete. However, with such a large chunk of their high school career spent at home, it will be difficult for some to ever be at peace with their experience as a whole.

“I definitely wish I had more time in person at Clover Hill, but having this last year at school in person will probably help my experience as a whole feel complete,” Saunders said.

Some students felt as if their high school experience would never be complete because of the last two years. That being said, few saw that as a bad thing.

“I don’t think my high school experience will ever necessarily feel complete, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. Considering how things turned out, I wouldn’t say my experience would be normal, but it’s definitely an experience that has been interesting, laughable, and I’ve learned a lot from it,” Vandevander said.

Finally, all students agreed that there were positive takeaways from this unconventional high school experience. Seniors shared many fond memories and found many takeaways throughout the years.

“Our sophomore year getting cut in half was a positive for me. It was unconventional, but the break was nice, and it was nice to have some time for myself. I got to go to the beach with my friends, when normal high school students would’ve been stuck in their sophomore year of high school. So that’s pretty sick,” Smith said.

Many students saw the abnormality of the past two years as an opportunity to learn and grow.

“This experience as a whole has been positive for me. Being able to grow as a person during that time alone was great, and I wouldn’t change that. It was nice to become who I was without having anyone else to judge me while doing so,” said Vandevander.

Some students looked at their disrupted high school experience as an interesting story that they could share with others in their future.

“I definitely think my high school experience left me with a story to tell that I can carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Saunders.

Class of 2022 enjoying the Junior vs. Senior powder-puff game. Photo by: Sarah Craft