Seniors never forget

Emily Wallace

Sr. Rachel Rutgers slowly ambles toward the South Cafeteria on an average school day and finds her normal seat next to her friends on the simple, wooden bench. As she reaches for her lunch, it all hits her. The reality sinks in. She, and the eager seniors around her, are to graduate in only one month. She reminisces upon all of the lunches she has shared with these friends over the years. All the conversations, emotions, and jokes flood her memory in a flash of nostalgia. At one point or another, each senior seems to experience this sensation. The truth sets in. For most, they’ll remember big events like winning that big game Freshman year or dancing with all their crew at Junior year Prom. The little things, though, are what differ for each student.

“I’ll never forget the walk between buildings. While often a harrowing endeavor, at the end of the day, it was a way to get outside and have some time to contemplate. It is definitely something that makes West Ottawa stand out, although it gets some lowlights in the winter,” said Sr. Ben Snoek.

“I’m going to miss being transferred into Ms. Engel’s seminar with [my friend] Megan. Seminar days have always been my favorite, but being able to hang out with my best friend and a cool teacher and getting help at the same time has made it even better. I don’t think I’ll forget that about high school, how I had a place to be comfortable and hang out with teachers and students alike,” said Sr. Alexus Phimthasak

“Coming to school after surgery was rough until I got to sixth hour when Mr. Taylor looked at me and said with a smile, ‘Man, I thought you were dead.’ I laughed, but I was in a lot of pain and really wanted to go home since it was the end of the day. As we were finishing a movie, Taylor came over and handed me a chocolate bar that said, ‘In case of emergency,’ at the top. That just made my year. He knows his students so well and knew that even though I am a tough cookie, I was struggling. He didn’t have to say anything, he just did what he does best and makes people smile and laugh,” said Sr. Abbey Jongekryg.

“A memorable part about high school that I won’t ever forget is the day we got our cap and gowns. Once I walked out of the gym with all of my friends holding our caps and gowns, I thought about everything I went through in the past four years to get to that moment. Then I thought about what lies ahead in the next month and I felt like I was just a freshman yesterday because there were so many great things in my high school experience that made the time fly by,” said Sr. Ashley Backus.

“My mom said that I’d wish my life away if I could. And I probably would. The past two years, all I’ve wanted to think about was getting out of here. High school. Holland. But the other day in class, sitting at the same desk I do every day, it dawned on me: I will probably never see any of these people again. I’ve made a few friends I’ll remain connected to while in college, a few I’ll maybe even talk to after college, but how many of these fellow seniors will I never talk to again? It made me think, think of how I’ve treated those around me. It’s been good for the most part, but I never went out of my way to introduce myself to more people, to expand my friend group. That’s my one regret. High school can be cliche at times, a spitting image of the movies. But the movies never tell you that you should have talked to more people, varied your friends, or spent more time getting to know your teachers. I’ve wished for so long that high school would be over, but now I wish that I would have spent the time that I wasted counting down the days with other people,” said Sr. Marissa Lindstrom.