Seniors Sprint to the Finish

Seniors, in their last few months of school, relax and play Uno during a recent advisory. Photo by: Katie Shiflett

Seniors, in their last few months of school, relax and play Uno during a recent advisory. Photo by: Katie Shiflett

The 4th quarter is here. As students edge closer to AP testing and summer vacation an astounding realization is coming to the minds of seniors throughout the school: it’s their (our) last quarter of high school, ever.

“It hasn’t quite set in yet that we’re graduating,” senior Cara Omohundro said. “Twelve years is such a long time that it felt like it would never end, and now that we’re close to the end, there’s a mix of excitement and trepidation for all of the change that’s about to happen.”

Senior Matthew Rusten thought back on the year, “I feel like just yesterday we were eating cupcakes for 100 days,” he said about that ubiquitous elementary school milestone during the recent Class of 2022 event in the cafeteria.

As graduation draws closer, there are definitely mixed reactions.“It’s a bittersweet feeling being so close to graduating,” senior Gabriela Loza said.

Some seniors, like Fiona Houlgate and Kailey Wong, are excited to go onto the next adventure. “I am so excited to graduate. I have spent a lot of time at West Po doing fun things and meeting new people, but I am looking forward to getting to a new place and continuing my life,” Houlgate said. “I’m happy to end this chapter of my life and start a new one,” Wong added.

One thing that all seniors will likely agree on is that this is all feeling a little surreal. “It’s super scary…to think that in 5 months we’re going to move into college,” senior Caty Campbell said.

While seniors are grappling with the proximity of this momentous occasion, many fond senior memories revolve around extracurriculars.“Going on big band trips, getting tons of food after swim meets, and soccer team dinners are just the surface of the highlights of my high school experience,” Houlgate said. Senior Caty Campbell also has warm memories from band. “One of my best memories has to be all of the jazz band dances I went to…I would never trade those conga lines for the world,” she said.

Senior Grace McGee’s extracurricular memories are also some of her favorites, “Some of my favorite memories have been Friday night football games, swim team dinners and meets, crew practices at National Harbor, and spending time with friends,” she said.

Spending time with friends is a common theme, “Some of my favorite memories have been going to games with my friends and supporting sports teams, playing soccer with some of my closest friends, and getting to take snacks from my mom’s classroom [Mrs. Loza ],” Loza said.

Omohundro added, “Above all, what I end up remembering are the people I spend time with everyday that make high school interesting, fun, and generally worth it…especially moments with my friends where they made me laugh or helped me out.”

Even with fond memories, the fact that the normal high school experience took a turn is not forgotten. “High school was definitely different…because COVID kind of took a chunk out of the middle. I went from being a freshman, sophomore to a senior,” Rusten said,“I feel like I missed the years where you really got to get involved in the school.”

“Senior year winding down means that there will be less stress than normal and more time to relax,” Houlgate said. “I’m so excited to just start reviewing for the AP exams. No more tests or quizzes, just fun times with the best teachers,” Campbell said.

Others are focused on commencement, “I’m really looking forward to the relief and growing excitement that I think all the seniors are going to feel as graduation gets closer,” Omohundro said.