Mridha Swan Song

Anik Mridha, Podcast Editor

In a month, high school will end. In a month, I will be graduating. In a month, I will be leaving. In the back of my mind, I always knew I would be graduating at some point, but being so out of touch with the flow of time made me realize how fast that day has come. I can barely believe that in a month, I’m taking the first step into a very different world.

I would say I had a very unique but normal, interesting high school experience. I say this because two of my years have been stricken by the oh–so–evil COVID-19. However, for the time before the pandemic, it felt normal. No one knew what was going to happen, and everything seemed to be working fine. It’s only when I look back, I realize how easy I had it as a freshman. The classes, the workload, all of it, was easier than what I had to put up with during my junior and senior years. At this point, I can barely remember any specifics, but only up until the third week of March. That is a day I will never forget. Seeing the message of school being closed for two weeks — it was something. I can’t really put into words what the feeling was, or how I should have felt. On one hand, I felt happy that we were basically getting a two week break, but on the other hand, are we going to enter hard times soon? The latter got answered very quickly.

While I never contracted the virus, it was worrisome seeing close family and friends who did contract the virus, especially before a vaccine was created and distributed. It was a fairly weird time, as the pandemic pushed us through a system of online school. However, I, for one, enjoyed this time. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get basically three day weekends every week. Distance learning really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I doubt I’d get to experience it again (unless another pandemic rolls around).

The year after, which was my junior year, was also very interesting to say the least. We were in school, but not really. I know this doesn’t make sense, but to clarify, all of us have been so used to being behind the screen that when the time came to do actual work in person, well it didn’t go so well. I remember vividly my economics teacher pointing this out, which flickered a light bulb inside my head. It was a big realization for me, but the shackles of laziness prevented me from capitalizing on it. 

However, aside from schoolwork and all that, it felt surreal to see people in person again after a period of time. I didn’t go out much during quarantine for obvious reasons but the quarantine really showed the differences between interacting with someone through a screen and in person. Knowing this, I sought to make the most of this “second chance” that I’ve been offered in living through a high school experience. I went out and got my license, hung out with friends, and spent more time outside with my family. Notably, this did affect my performance in school going outward, and at a time where it’s essential to be at the top of your game due to college coming in fast. 

Skip forward to now. My high school career is coming to a close, with college on its way, knocking on my doorstep. There are many things I wish I would have done, however, I’m satisfied with the things that have already happened. I felt most of my basic desires have been fulfilled, to go on a path towards my dream career, make some potential lifelong friends, and just have fun. Along the way, I hope I’ve made those closest to me proud, and I will try to continue to do so going forward.