Brooklyn Shoemaker-DECHS.jpg

Brooklyn Shoemaker

As I began to think of what to write about, the first idea that popped into my mind was COVID-19. Knowing that many others would choose this topic, I tried to stray from it and talk about other subjects, such as how my life has been through high school or perhaps my tiring process of applying to universities across the state. However, after much deliberation, I realized that the pandemic has tremendously impacted my life as a high school senior. Therefore, I would like to share my experience of being a high school senior during a devastating pandemic.

When issues arise, there are measures that we take to resolve them. In this case, many new changes took place as our community tried to quickly resolve the spread of the virus, such as businesses limiting capacity, stay-at-home orders, the use of face coverings, and many more. One change that affected me as a student was the switch to remote learning. Being a student at Duplin Early College, I was no stranger to online classes; but having all my classes online proved to be a new challenge. When remotely learning, you don’t have the opportunity to walk up to your teacher after class and ask them to explain in detail how something works. Instead, you have to send emails or join Google meets and hope to gain clarity, and since I am a visual learner, that wasn’t always the case.

Aside from classes, I missed out on so many activities that make up the high school experience. Clubs, pep rallies, prom, and even just spending time with classmates were altered or cut out of my senior year completely. While I am upset about how much I missed out on, I am thankful for the opportunity for growth. Despite the circumstances, this year has allowed me to grow and adapt to new and often-changing environments. I believe that my ability to adapt will become useful as I transition into a university.

In conclusion, being a high school senior during a pandemic is challenging and full of changes. Even though it may be confusing and upsetting, adapting to change is part of who we are as humans and essential to our growth. So even though I missed out on most of what others call their “best year of high school,” I gained so much more. I gained experience and traits that will allow me to face any new challenge head-on and with confidence. I became closer to my community as we came together and decided what was best for the sake of our health. And lastly, I learned to appreciate the little things and all the people around me, and I am exceedingly thankful for that.

Brooklyn Shoemaker is a senior at Duplin Early College High School.