A Study in Perseverance: Class of 2021

Graduating high school is a yearly occurrence.

Every year, thousands of 18-year-olds leave their homes and their schools and move on. They begin a new chapter in their lives.

So although it is scary to move on, the promise of greater things is thrilling.

ZIS Upper School StuCo President Lucy Reza is among those that described the experience as bittersweet, both scared and excited at the transition from high school to the real world. “It’s quite a weird feeling, I feel like it’s quite hard to process but it’s also like a really big milestone. I think it’s bittersweet because you feel sad to finish high school but you feel excited to get on to the next thing.”

Unfortunately for this year’s seniors, their senior year and their graduation have been affected by COVID. They haven’t been able to have a “normal” senior year due to the masks, restrictions and quarantines that have occurred.

As a result, it is important for the seniors to reflect upon their year. Their last year, not only at ZIS but in high school. The beginning of their adult lives.

Surprisingly enough, many of the seniors that are graduating had a positive reaction to graduating this year despite the issues that they have faced due to COVID. Esther Thomet, a senior gave an insight on how COVID affected her last year in high school, “Whenever people are like, ‘I’m so sorry for you’, I don’t like that because this is our senior year, this is how it was gonna be and it went just fine, so it was different from what I expected it to be but it was good in its own way and it’s gonna be a perfect senior year because that’s just what it was. It was unique.”

This positive reaction to the difficulty of graduating this year reflects the maturity that the seniors are graduating with this year. Despite the hardships, they have managed to graduate and still considered this year ‘perfect’.

This level of maturity will be vital in the upcoming years. As they approach the real world, they will have to endure many more hardships that luckily, this year has prepared them for. As the seniors leave high school and approach university, their lives will begin to move forward. For instance, Kathryn Gray, a 12th grader, gave an insight into how she hopes her life will move forward.

“I’m going to university in the UK and I actually just confirmed my spot in Exeter the other day. So I’m gonna be studying psychology and then I hope to do a masters in forensic psychology when I graduate.”

Although this was a difficult year, the seniors at ZIS have managed to persevere and have now begun a new chapter in their lives.

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