What Will We Remember?

Graduates discuss the unforgettable parts of the last four years


Art by Essy Ingram

Octopi have rectangular pupils, a fact many are quick to forget.

Many a student has found themself pondering the relevance of what they learn in school: “In my adult life, will I be relieved to know that an octopus has rectangular pupils?” The odds aren’t good. It’s very likely the information students work so hard to retain will be lost to the wind in just a few years. So, which will be the parts that count? The ones that won’t be forgotten?

2020 graduate Tony Belonog reminisces on the parts he remembers.

“Having school called off ‘cause a kid drove through the front doors. Are you asking favorite memory? Maybe not my favorite… but that was the most memorable,” Belonog explained.

When the ACT that morning got cancelled due to unprecedented causes, Belonog couldn’t help but to commit it to memory. A slightly more fond recollect of his high school experience was one involving his peers.

“My most favorite [memory] is being able to make the class laugh. Making teachers smile and making people smile is my favorite,” Belonog said.

From someone who cherished the memories made with esteemed friends and teachers, the social aspect of high school was a prominent one.

“High school is special because of the people,” Belonog said. “It’s the friends you make and the friends you lose. And it’s the stuff that you learn not only about school but about your own mental health.”

Now a freshman at Missouri State, graduate Marinda Ludwig was not expecting the stark differences in college and high school life.

“I [miss] sitting down and eating lunch with my friends every lunch because that’s something even now as a college student that you don’t do,” Ludwig said. “More than I knew it, I depended on those interactions every day with people at school.”

As well as appreciating the social interactions high school offered, the feeling of triumph over a subject, Ludwig agreed, was one to remember.

“In AP Bio, those tests were so difficult that when I would get a 90 I would legit celebrate,” Ludwig said, grinning.

Looking back, Ludwig wished she were able to do school without regrets, and encouraged current students to do the same.

“Show up to a Zoom call like Megamind! Who’s gonna care?” Ludwig said.

She also encouraged students to cruise school property with safety in mind.

“Y’all need to calm down in the student parking lot. You’re gonna get hit,” Ludwig warned. “I definitely got tapped a few times.”

The abrupt fashion in which the year ended for seniors, including recent graduate Anna Carroll, was not a preferred one. Carroll had planned to give valentines to teachers and friends at the end of the year instead of on Valentine’s Day.

 “I figured that’d be a better time to write letters to my teachers and all my friends and tell them how much they meant to me, but I didn’t get the chance,” Carroll said.

Carroll talked to many fellow graduates who agreed they wanted more closure for their senior year.

“Life just isn’t that pretty, like you can’t just tie up four years of education in a nice neat little bow… like anything in life, high school is messy,” Carroll countered.

It’s possible that seeing the messy reality is a catalyst to being more focused on life’s current happenings.

“I think that the very real and very present threat is kind of the push to live in the present that people are always looking for,” Carroll said. 

The way Carroll remembered her high school years was, at its core, a community.

“It was the teachers who were consistently there for me … then of course my friends, between all the clubs and activities,” Carroll said. “It was really just the people.”

What part of high school would you prefer to remember?

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