(Image courtesy of Alyssa Brook)
Westlake High School

Opinion: Cherish your time in high school as it can be gone quickly

This past month was the craziest month of my life, but I’m sure most people can relate to that. Our community has endured California wildfires, a tragic shooting in our own hometown and currently a global pandemic due to the virus, COVID-19.

Conejo Valley Unified School District sent out an announcement on April 1 stating that schools will continue virtual learning for the rest of the school year. My first thought was that the announcement had to be an April Fool’s joke. I could not imagine not finishing high school in person and not being able to see friends until summer break.

I remember watching countless Disney movies depicting school dances, end of year performances and senior traditions. I was that little girl who dreamt of going to prom, wearing the perfect dress, throwing my graduation cap into the air and just experiencing high school. Life can’t always be like a Disney movie, right?

Along with many of my classmates who are in programs such as advanced anatomy, orchestra, band and involved in sports teams, students all across the world are experiencing the cancelation of concerts, competitions, field trips and end-of-year traditions.

I am a proud member of the Westlake High School Choral Music Department and due to COVID-19, every competition and trip planned for this year is canceled, with the final concert of the year being postponed.

In a way, this time of self isolation is like a time machine where I can see into the future. I can see the time where seniors in high school are now freshmen in college and only communicate to their friends through instant messaging and talking on the cell phone rather than in person, just like friends and family are doing now.

With even less time to make memories, I am dreading the day where I have to say goodbye to my closest friends as we start this new chapter of our lives.

As I lay in bed, scrolling through hundreds of photos taken during these past four years, I wonder why the virus had to happen, during what was supposed to be the end of my senior year. The second semester of senior year is supposed to be a time of lasts: last high school dance, last trips, last performances, last time walking through the halls of WHS and last moments with friends.

After wallowing in my own self pity, I started thinking about my high school experience. I realized I should cherish the memories that were made, rather than dwell on the ones that were lost. As seniors, we are losing a lot. If the price is saving human lives and preventing the spread of a worldwide virus, it is well worth it.

Seniors, be grateful for the four years we have experienced and the friendships that were formed. After all, you will remember those who touched your lives throughout your high school career more than anything. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors, do not take time in high school for granted. It will end sooner than you think.