Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

UEFA Euros Tournament Predictions
Final Blog
Final Blog
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UEFA Euros Tournament Predictions
Final Blog
Final Blog
Advertisement

Final Blog

Final+Blog
Photo by Reese Mallett

I have spent the past two weeks debating what to write this “final blog” about. It’s hard to summarize the craziest four years of my life in a few paragraphs. It’s hard to look back at this long string of events called high school that I somehow will be done within a few days and put it all together. I look back and smile, I cringe and laugh and then wonder how everything turned out how it did. But ultimately when I think of the past four years, I think of the word: unknown. 

I spent my first three weeks of high school sitting at the desk in the corner of my room, staring at a bright blue screen on my laptop, watching my teachers put on fake smiles, and avoiding the obvious that we weren’t in a classroom. I sat through this for what felt like forever, failing to pay attention to anything being taught. Eventually, in-person learning began but in the most unconventional way I could have imagined. Each time I stepped into a school building, I had to wear a surgical mask, something completely foreign to me. I walked into class, hand sanitizer was applied to my hands by someone at the door. Each desk had to be at least six feet apart so the concept of “table groups” completely disappeared. When I left the classroom, I had to wipe my desk off with a Clorox wipe to ensure every germ was gone. Occasionally (more like every single day) someone would get COVID-19 and every person within a six-foot radius would get quarantined, in every class period they were in, and those individuals weren’t allowed at school for two weeks. They even had assigned seats at lunch, with plastic dividers between each seat for contact-tracing purposes. Looking back at this four years later, I wonder how I did not go crazy. I felt so isolated from everyone around me, despite them being right there. I look back and wish I could have had a normal first year of high school, without a militaristic style of learning. Every day was unknown. 

Sophomore year everything went back to normal. It’s like we went on summer break for three months and all of a sudden, no more masks, no more hand sanitizer, no more wiping down desks, no more quarantine. It felt so weird going from so much chaos to such a calm school day. Honestly, sophomore year was, in my opinion, the most pointless year of high school. It felt like the sequel to a really eventful film where nothing actually happens but still made as a filler to add one or two new things. Sophomore year was when everyone around me started asking, “What do you want to do after high school” repeatedly, a question I always dreaded. Thinking about what lay ahead of me was once again just one big unknown. 

Junior year everything ramped up out of nowhere. I started dual-credit college courses for nearly all of my core subjects and it honestly felt like being thrown into a lion’s den with walls to the sky. I spent so much time each day doing homework for these classes, something I never had to do. I wrote my first essay longer than two pages and had to get used to taking regularly scheduled 80-question tests. I had a professor in the spring that was unlike any educator I’d met. He graded my essays so meticulously as if I was a PhD candidate. Truthfully I had never gotten an F on an assignment before this class, but by the last essay we wrote, I had cracked his system. I spent hours scanning every comment he had given me and applied them to a new piece of work. He graded my essay as a 98 without a single comment, a grade I don’t think he had ever given anyone before. This remains one of my core memories from high school. By the end of junior year, everyone was asking, “Where will you go to college?”, “What do you want to study?”, “You need to figure this out now.” I stared at them with blank eyes, even to myself, the answer to these questions was unknown. 

Senior year started (so ready to be done) but this is the year where everything becomes serious. College visits, SAT scores, class rank, college applications, scholarships and ultimately needing to know exactly where I will go. I spent so much of high school considering all the options and all of them leaving me with no further lead into what my future will look like. So much pressure was constantly put on me to decide, decide, decide. I applied to big-name schools like the University of Arkansas, Texas State University and San Diego State University. Despite the multitude of options, none felt right. My mom had always told me how she envisioned me going to UT Austin, one of the most prestigious public schools in America. I felt as though I had no chance of getting in but tried my best regardless. One day I thought I would give it a go, I applied to the school (five essays later) in November then realized I wouldn’t know for three months, until February. I applied with a foreign language major, something that always interested me. I waited every day for the day to come when I found out if I got in or not, as everyone else did. One night I was having dinner with my two closest friends, and I got THE email. Nervously, I opened up my phone. A large burnt orange banner stating “Congratulations, you got in” flashed across my screen, and at that moment I knew that this was where I wanted to go. It felt like every amount of effort I put into school and extracurriculars, every exam, every essay, every blank moment in my life that felt like nothing, mattered. It all made sense. Everything was no longer unknown. 

So as I leave this school, and as I move to bigger and better things, I realize now that not everything needs to be known. Sometimes we have to let things roll out how they are intended to and stop waiting for a big flashy answer waved in our faces (although sometimes they can be nice). At this point in my life, I have realized how to appreciate each little moment and not take them for granted. High school, honestly, is whatever you make it to be. It can be good, it can be bad, but it entirely depends on what you make it to be. I can now see how true it is that these four years absolutely fly by.

About the Contributors
Jackson Gourley
Jackson Gourley, Staff Writer
Hi, I’m Jackson. I’m a senior but this is my first year in journalism and I love to travel and discover new music.
Reese Mallett
Reese Mallett, Assistant Photo Editor
Hello!!! I am one of the Photo editors for this year. I love photography and working with Legacy Student Media. Waffles are better than pancakes, cats are better than dogs, and Jesus is life.
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