First Normal Year of High School!?


The Waterford High School Class of 2023 has had ups and downs throughout their high school years. Their freshman year was cut short due to Covid-19, their sophomore year was mostly virtual, and their junior year revolved around masks and mandates. Many hope this upcoming 2022-23 school year will be their first normal year of high school.

Most students have similar expectations for this upcoming school year. Senior Isabella Kimball talks about being excited and about strengthening their work ethic this school year. “Being in school is definitely a different experience than online learning,” she told us. They hope that seeing their friends’ faces in classes will help ease the transition into college. Another senior, Mia Petrini is excited about being able to play her favorite sport, volleyball, without the worry of masks. “It’s great to be able to be back on the court without worrying about wearing masks all the time,” she said. She adds that it is nice being a senior in the school because she takes pride in being a role model for the incoming younger students. Senior Luke Bartlett is looking forward to the various in-school activities we have in store for this year. He says, “I’m definitely excited for pep rallies and superlatives, things that we probably wouldn’t be able to do if we were all virtual.” Being in person this year will help seniors fully experience senior year traditions.

Seniors are quite excited to go into their first normal year of high school for a variety of reasons. However, there are common worries. Many seniors are worried about the college application process. Senior Jack Donovan talked about how the transition from virtual learning into the college application process felt too immediate. He said, “it feels like a juggling act, balancing my senior year classes with the college application process added on top.” He thinks that junior year still felt as if teachers were still holding their hands and that he was hit quickly with the proximity of college. Senior JP O’Leary has concerns along the same line: “The post-secondary preview is making me quite nervous because I feel unprepared for college going into this year.” However, JP had a different view on junior year. He saw it as a whip into shape, which caught him off guard last year because of how different it was compared to virtual learning sophomore year. Senior Gaudencio Gatchalian talked about how he is worried about keeping his AP classes and college applications in check with each other. “I know what I want to do in college, but I’m worried about how I’m going to get there. I almost feel like I’m a bit unprepared.” Senior Luke Bartlett on the other hand said that the pressure of this year was more on deciding where he wants to go to college instead of the college application process. He stated, “I don’t feel unprepared; I know it’s going to be a struggle like other things we have had before, and I’m just a bit nervous about where I want to go for the next four years.”

However, regardless of all the worries, the class of 2023 will keep their fingers crossed that the excitement and optimism for this year will outweigh the doubts and concerns.