Ranking the Class of 2023’s high school years

Our past four years of high school have been eventful to say the least. Between Covid-19, countless changes in administration and the occasional campus threat, we’ve made a lot of memories.
Each year has been unique, coming with its own ups and downs, but some have definitely been better than others. Let’s look at a ranking of the past four years because there is definitely a lot to discuss.
No. 1 – Senior Year
Unsurprisingly, coming in at the top of the list is senior year.
Being our final year, a lot of new changes appeared. We were met with a completely new administration team when we returned to school, accompanied with a lot of new and unwelcomed rules (remember those?) We also finally earned the privilege to sign out, thank god. Well, most of us at least. Sorry 17-year-olds.
Maybe the biggest change from last year to this one is the decrease in COVID-19. We were finally able to walk around and eat together without fear of contracting the virus. Especially compared to junior year when we saw everyone in masks for the better part of the year.
It feels like things finally returned to normal.
Naturally, there were some negatives to the year, too. I still haven’t recovered from the stress of college applications.And honestly, it’s been hard having to say goodbye to high school.
But we have a lot of great memories to treasure. We had a fantastic final homecoming, outdoors for the second year in a row. We’ll always have our Friday Night Lights to look back on, accompanied with tons of fun spirit themes like neon and pink out.
And there’ll always be Colorfest too, but that one might be more of a funny story than a sentimental memory.
More than anything, senior year has been about making the most of it. And I think we’ve done that.
No. 2 – Freshman Year
Next up, maybe a surprise to some, is freshman year.
I’ll preface this by saying I don’t think freshman year would be this high if COVID-19 didn’t happen.
And in a way, freshman year is the only year that doesn’t feel tainted because it was our first and only taste of normal high school.
It was also just…fun.
We were wide-eyed and young, excited to see what this new world of high school had waiting for us. We got to meet and develop relationships with tons of new people, including our fellow freshmen from other schools and upperclassmen.
We had a fabulous indoor homecoming, our only one of high school, and plenty of high energy rallies run by our much-missed upperclassmen.
COVID-19 definitely stopped us in our tracks though. But even after the stay at home order began, the schoolwork was essentially nonexistent and it was an adventure of its own.
Freshman year was the year of new beginnings.
No. 3 – Sophomore Year
Placing sophomore year at third might be a little…controversial. But let me explain.
Sophomore year for the class of 2023 is a touchy subject. There isn’t much middle ground. You either hated it or loved it.
On one hand, it was pretty easy. We didn’t even have to get out of our beds to go to class, and we basically had an hour and a half of naptime everyday with the online student support and lunch periods. Zoom troubles aside, we had a pretty easy academic sophomore year.
On the other hand, it was kind of an extrovert’s nightmare.
We missed a whole year of school dances, football games and just hanging out with our friends. A whole year of memories, lost to the pandemic. We didn’t even see each other’s faces most days, just a black screen with our peers’ names written in block letters.
It was depressing, to say the least.
So, if half of us loved online learning and half of us hated it, it’s only fair it goes somewhere in the middle.
No. 4 – Junior Year
And that brings us to last place: junior year.
Junior year was, in a way, a transition year.
It was our big, triumphant return to in-person school. We were finally back, this time as upperclassmen, masked up and ready to go. Things were finally back to normal.
Except, they weren’t really.
We all had to be completely masked up. There was no eating indoors. Everything was being adapted to fit COVID restrictions. While all of these adjustments were for the greater good, it all felt a little dystopian.
Add to that the anxiety of junior year studying for the SATs, AP classes and the generally overwhelming idea that we had to decide the rest of our lives pretty soon, the year was stressful to say the least.
That doesn’t mean it was all bad. We were all thankful to be able to see our friends again. And as much as we complained about school, we were all happy that we could have some face-to-face interaction again. Junior year might not have been the best, but it was necessary to get back into the flow of things.
And that wraps up the last four years. Even with world-shaking, global catastrophes, we made it, Class of ‘23. It’s been an interesting journey, but the memories we have made will always be cherished as we go off to pursue our passions and dreams.