Senior Farewell: Senior year brought a return to normalcy


Image by Purbalite staff

Purbalite seniors evaluate their fours years of high school at Baldwin .

Sam Tobiczyk, News Editor

The Class of 2023 has been through the wringer. 

I remember waking up on my first day of freshman year, a naive 14-year-old ready to board their bus to the next, most serious step in education yet. For the first three-fourths of our freshman year, it was normal. And then the world imploded.

Because of the pandemic, the last months of freshman year were lost. This fact extended into sophomore year, where half of us were going insane while at home, and the other half were worrying about catching a deadly disease at school.

I think I speak for most everyone in the Class of 2023, and even most teachers, when I say that online education caused a massive setback for everyone. Students didn’t know even half of what they were supposed to learn, and teachers didn’t know what the students didn’t know.

But in our junior year, the world started to improve. We were all back in school, if not with a constant reminder of the dangerous virus strapped to all of our faces. We started to actually learn again and to socialize in a close-to-normal way.

We even got to remove our masks a little more than halfway through the year.

But I think that it has been during our senior year that our school finally started to heal. 

We started to go to Baldwin sports games again, with school spirit being higher than I have ever seen. Clubs started to be filled again, with the highest participation in extracurricular activities since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The cafeteria seating returned to normal, and with new furniture it actually improved from its pre-pandemic state, creating an environment for students to catch up on the lost socialization of the past years.

Matilda sold more tickets than any other musical in the history of Baldwin High School, rewarding the cast for their excellent production.

And we all worked together to create the Lip Dub, an activity that allowed us to leave our mark on Baldwin beyond our years here.

This normalcy even allowed us seniors to worry about more common issues. For some students, including me, that included having four different school counselors in four years. For others, it meant the stress over college admissions. But at least we didn’t have the global pandemic at the forefront of our minds.

Still, I don’t know if the global pandemic has been a completely bad thing. For the past three years, everyone has been focused on how Covid has negatively impacted society. And of course it has. But for students, I think that there are some definitive positives that came out of the worldwide crisis. 

The Class of 2023 proved to be infinitely adaptable, and we will surely use this in our further educational or working careers. We know how to be determined and how to stay committed in the face of adversity.

I know many of us have lost family to the illness, myself included. But Covid is going to remain an influence for the rest of our lives as students who lived through it, so why let it only be a detriment? We should consider what we learned and gained from Covid, take note of the ways we have changed, and remember how we grew.