I’m Feeling (Class of) ’22

Senior Wildcat editor Melea Altermatt reflects on an often tumultuous, often rewarding four years at BOHS.

Brad+Boschman%2C+senior%2C+waves+the+school+flag+at+the+Homecoming+football+game+on+Sept.+17%2C+2021.+

Kasia Alexander

Brad Boschman, senior, waves the school flag at the Homecoming football game on Sept. 17, 2021.

Taylor Swift’s iconic song “22” has described the class of 2022’s high school experience – “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time” – in more ways than one. 

The beginning of our sophomore year had us believing that “everything will be alright,” but with the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not trust that anymore. Bookending with our freshman and senior year, the class of 2022 only experienced two full years of high school, never truly feeling a sense of normalcy. 

In the best-case scenario, we could have had the regular four years to live out our High School Musical dreams, but no one could have predicted the pandemic. This not only sets the class of 2022 apart from any other class but gives us a unique perspective on our high school experience that not many other classes – before and after us – can relate to.  

Starting at the beginning. As freshmen entering high school with seniors who looked much older than us, we walked onto a huge high school campus, ready to tackle what came our way. 

Link Crew was there to provide us with tips and advice on how to thrive in high school and how to make the most of our next four years. Little did we know, our next four years would look a lot different than any of us could have imagined. 

To get us excited about our first year on campus, Link Crew threw the freshmen class-exclusive dress-up days like Jersey Day, Pajama Day, and Freshman Fridays. We attended school dances in the outdoor cafeteria, participated in rallies with our grade levels, and topped the week off with Friday night football games. We explored outlets of involvement, like sports teams, performing arts, and clubs. Whatever it was, we started to find our place and our friends, and strived to have the “best year ever.”

The class of 2022 has truly experienced the ‘miserable and magical’ moments of high school from a different perspective during the past four years.”

But what is the “best year ever”? For many, the class of 2022’s sophomore year began as the year we dreamed about as freshmen. We finally were not the “babies” of the school. We learned our way around campus and earned our driver’s licenses so that we could pull up to school, keys in hand, instead of being dropped off by our parents. Some of us were making varsity in our chosen sport, many of us deepened our friendships, and some even began the search for colleges. The 2019-2020 school year felt like a year that was too good to be true. 

And it was. As soon as we found our “groove” in high school, March 13, 2020, happened, and suddenly we were seeing each other’s faces on Zoom for hours each day. Everyone’s plans had been changed and halted until further notice. Teachers had to learn how to navigate new technology, students had to figure out how to virtually homeschool themselves on Google Classroom. COVID-19 ended sports seasons, dances, and traditions. Basically, everything that we had been taught and were looking forward to during our freshmen year of high school was ripped away from us. 

We ended our sophomore year, not with a yearbook signing party, but by waving goodbye to virtual faces as we all clicked the “leave” button on our computer screens. A weird and unfamiliar way to leave a school year without knowing what the next year would hold. 

Junior year was anything but normal. We started with all virtual classes that met on a daily basis before we were presented with the option to move to a hybrid learning environment with facial masks, desk shields, and “cohort” classrooms in October 2020. Some of us chose the year-long virtual route on Zoom, while others opted for “hybrid” twice a week in person and the remaining three days on Zoom. Every experience was new, and one thing we learned was that classwork was paperless and virtual. Assignments were rarely turned in by hand, and instead, primarily through Google Classroom. We now carried Chromebooks with us each day instead of binders packed with papers. 

The class of 2022’s junior year was a learning curve for everyone. We learned to juggle multiple AP classes with applying for colleges and the return of some sports and extracurriculars. We tried to make the most of our year with virtual rallies and performances. But what we really envied was a normal high school experience. 

Fortunately, COVID-19 restrictions were eventually lifted so we could all fully return to in-person classes for the whole year (with mask-wearing for the first four and a half months). There was no class more excited to return to BOHS for classes and sports than the class of 2022. We returned to school where we continued the tradition of childhood backpacks, symbolizing the end of an era for seniors. 

So far, senior year has been almost everything that we could have imagined. All sports, performing arts, and extracurriculars have been able to make up for last year’s losses with events, competitions, and games alike. We have been in the process of deciding what to do after high school, from college to the workforce or serving in the military. We have had senior days, like Senior Meme Day, Senior “Anything But a Backpack” Day, and Senior Sunrise. We have even experienced the feeling of being the “top dog” on campus. 

The class of 2022 has truly experienced the “miserable and magical” moments of high school from a different perspective during the past four years. We have seen it all and experienced it all. Because hey, besides the people in our generation, who else can say that they lived their teenage years through a global pandemic?

Our high school experience has been unique, to say the least, but one thing we have all learned is that we truly should cherish the last few days we have with each other because we have no clue what tomorrow could hold. Like Swift sings in her song “22,” “I don’t know about you/ But I’m feeling 22/ Everything will be alright if/ You keep me next to you.”