The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

Class of ’24 experience

Class of 24 has gone through many ups and downs these past four years, now its time to tell the story.
Ashley Santana (made with Canva)
Class of ’24 has gone through many ups and downs these past four years, now it’s time to tell the story.

Since 2019, the class of ‘24 has not had it easy. The pandemic hit right in our eighth grade year; no final trip, no fun, no more memories. Instead there have been issues and stress piling up when it comes to our future in education.

Quarantine was only supposed to be two weeks, the intercoms announced that one fateful day. No one could have predicted just how much of an impact those two weeks would have, because it wouldn’t be two weeks anymore, but two years. And so it began, everything virtual and everything rough.

In a small interview where I met with one of the hardest working students I know, senior Karla Godinez shared past feelings about going virtual all those years ago.

“I felt overwhelmed, stressed, sad, happy and, to be honest, very emotional,” Godinez said.

And, of course, those two weeks stretched to years, leading the class of ‘24 to go through loopholes and stress no matter where they went. It was devastating to not have an eighth grade celebration, but we would surely manage.

Going into ninth grade virtually made us numb to the fact that we were growing up. The year 2020 was quite a year, with TikTok being popular, trends, and exploring oneself created a new meaning since there were no face-to-face interactions to judge you. From the first fully virtual year of school, to freshman year, and to FAFSA and college admission during senior year, the class of ’24 seems to have gone through it all. Even I remember that fateful day the intercoms began to speak.

Godinez expressed how difficult it was to imagine leaving school for so long.

“‘Blah blah COVID, blah, blah. We will come back in two weeks,’ the speaker announced, and I got in tears because school was my favorite place in the world,” Godinez said.

All students were struggling I can admit, the peak of COVID-19 involved a lot of death and grief, and for those students an added pressure of doing well in school. Loved ones of mine passed away, and the loved ones of many succumbed to the illness that took over the world.

Sophomore year wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. I wasn’t old enough to judge the freshman class, but we were too young to know what we were doing. We were stuck in the middle, barely knowing the people around us and only having three more years together until the end.

Junior year wasn’t all too easy either, as I struggled in the most challenging year I had been thrown at so far.

And, it has now all started to wrap up its final chapters in my and millions of others’ high school stories. There were many ups and downs in our lives, but from kindergarten to 12th grade, we made it. I write this only a month until I walk the stage and I can finally say…

“Senior year was in fact, not ‘forever years’ away.” 4th grade me would not have believed how quickly time flew, and how unforgiving the world could be sometimes.

It was also, however, not easy as FAFSA and many universities around the world decided that this year would be the year they tried out something new. It did not make it fun, easy, or pleasant to go through not knowing if we would get accepted into college, let alone even afford it.

But, for some students the change in FAFSA made their lives easier. Senior Ruby Calderon was one of the lucky ones..
“FAFSA was easy for me thankfully, I know others had it worse,” Calderon said.

Although senior year was not the magical experience we might have hoped for, it prepared us in a way. The world is not always fair and it is always changing; these hills my class navigated through to get to graduation were just another step in our future. While it might not have been easy, it’ll make other obstacles seem minor. And, no matter how many mountains and hills we had to climb over to finish the race, we all made it to the end together.

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About the Contributor
Ashley Santana
Ashley Santana, Staff Writer
I like art, coffee, and drama.