Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?

Source: Photos by Sarah Brunskill

By Sarah Brunskill

Hey there, freshman, sophomores, and our fellow upperclassmen (juniors). 

Are we finally entering a “normal” school year? What even is that anymore? We are finally coming back to a year like the beginning of time, okay not really, more like back to freshman year for me. Freshman year seems like it was so long ago. As an elder of the school and having experienced the “normal” of high school freshman year, I’ve come to give a little wisdom about what you can expect and what I think you should do now that COVID restrictions are easing up. 

The school put in place and enforced an insane amount of rules over the past couple of years. As the building opens up, this creates a lot more freedom. This freedom can include spending quality time with your friends in the Commons. Personally, I have a very vivid memory of a group of my friends hovering over the table doing hot sauce shots freshman year and I would not recommend it (or if you’re Amanda, sugar shots during Bagel Days). Since our desks aren’t 6 feet apart anymore, we can sit by our friends and have a conversation without yelling halfway across the room. And of course, without having to unmute. Maybe you want to try shots of blue cheese. Or maybe, just maybe, closer desks can mean finally finding the love of your life… jk, unless.

 With this freedom, free periods means you have a choice between the Commons and other spaces. Going to the library has continued to be a great resource and a good spot to get work done. Lastly, from one student to another, go visit your teachers. Take advantage of office hours, because that’s exactly what they’re meant for, to help you become a better student. Going is a great first step. The teachers would love to get to know you and are always happy to help. Now that we are able to walk around school, take the time to go see your teachers.

 As we enter our fall season, it comes with a big sense of normalcy. For one, football season is in the fall, unlike in the spring season, like our 2020 season. Let me tell you, playing soccer with a mask on is definitely an experience I would love to be a one-time thing. Many indoor sports were canceled or very restricted. During that time those teams didn’t have anyone in the crowds. Now that you can, go to the games and support your friends. Remember, the Sea of Red is just as important as our players representing us out on those fields.

This is probably one of the most dreaded times of the year, other than when you get your midterms and finals back… ha ha. Midterms week finally making a comeback after two years. An entire week just for taking your midterms, otherwise you are completely off for the other days. You also get to leave right after your exam.  

Some things have still been thrown off course, like homecoming week is separated this year. The dance is still outdoors this year, but it could be a good change. Taste of East, which we’ve only had once since (my) freshman year, is making a comeback. Last year everything had to be prepackaged but this year is different and back to our good old Taste of East. Without prepackaged food, we have a much bigger variety of foods. It’s a super fun event and I 100% recommend it. It’s also a great way to talk to club leaders and find something that interests you.

Before COVID we had many clubs providing food. Newspaper, for example, provided the most delicious bagels at every meeting. Lucky for you they are most likely coming back this year (come every Wednesday to find out). Some other clubs that have food are Indian Culture Club and French club. As a senior I would 100% recommend joining clubs since it’s a great way to relieve stress and the club culture at East is truly amazing. 

As we (the 2023 students) approach our graduation, we will only get wiser. Actually, I take that back. We are still learning. Every year there is something new and unexpected. I mean, I thought I knew everything last year and I was caught off guard when I saw a kid getting a haircut in the middle of the Commons. One piece of advice from this (wise) senior, take things one step at a time. Things will keep throwing you for a loop but you can’t let that prevent you from enjoying high school.