The Unique Class of 2022 Wraps up a Bizarre Ride


The Class of 2022 taking pictures for Homecoming.

Grace Rickey, Reporter

The Novato High class of 2022 has faced an immense amount of hardship and heartbreak with an array of overwhelming events occurring during our four-year journey. These tragic and challenging circumstances have not only shaped us as human beings but have defined us as a class in a way that’s very special.

Our experiences as the class of 2022 were certainly not typical. The culmination of events that we have faced thus far will stay with us for the rest of our lives. These events have shaped us into the people we are today, and they will continue to alter our perspectives going forward. We have been exposed to issues of such a magnitude, which have forced us to mature in ways that none of us anticipated nor were necessarily ready for. These monumental issues are not only historically significant to Novato High, but also on a broader world scale.

Throughout these past four years, current seniors have only been in school for around half of the time. During this time of unexpected isolation, we have been forced to endure the toll on polarization and mental health. Growing up in an era overpowered by social media has already affected the psychology of our generation tremendously, however, the pandemic impacted our generation in a way that’s irreversible. With the onset of Covid, also came global social movements like BLM (Black Lives Matter).

During this time period, many people became lonely and hostile in isolation, unaware of what was to come with the virus. Not only was there a widespread fear of health risks, but the dependence on social media created an unparalleled polarization in society. Issues such as Covid, which were scientific, became politicized, as the United States became more politically and socially divided than ever before. 

Over quarantine, the collective class of 2022 grew apart as a whole as we were stripped of a lot of our sophomore and junior years. Many of us came together in smaller groups, grateful for the friendships we could maintain in these trying times, but we didn’t escape unscathed. We experienced firsthand the impact of these events on mental health, as we’ve all lost a classmate, a dear friend, and/or a family member as well. 

These horrific events have not only defined our class, but have hopefully made us into more globally aware citizens who want to make a change in the world around us. Being forced to mature faster and cope with loss, polarization, and isolation  has helped us develop deeper relationships with those around us. We’ve become more grateful for our education and our friendships, but we’ve also been inspired to look beyond ourselves and become more selfless human beings.

Senior Qiana Hester offered a more positive outlook on our experience as the class of 2022.

“I think that the pandemic was actually beneficial for some people,” Hester said. “I think it’s really nice to get a big break in the middle of your high school experience to figure out that high school isn’t everything and it helped me get a better perspective on what the real world is like. I think it’s really easy to get caught up in all of the drama of high school and it’s nice to take a while to step back from that and figure out who you are outside of high school. I think that coming back to high school after that experience was very refreshing because it felt like you were getting new experiences all over again. It ultimately made us appreciate our senior year more and made it more enjoyable.”

Senior Maggie Childers expressed her view on the class of 2022 and the challenges we’ve faced.

“I think that something our class went through was the death of so many people that we knew,” Childers remarked. “I know that in the past people have died and it’s become vaguely familiar but for the first time we were able to see a definite pattern which made us grow up faster. Throughout the pandemic, I think we realized the value of life and connection as well and with the arts program, we’ve grown to reflect on the importance of life and the importance of actually taking advantage of experiences because in the pandemic we were so void of that.”

Senior Meimi Curtis relayed her opinion on the uniqueness of the senior class. 

“Aside from the fact that 2022 is different because we had to go through a pandemic for 2 years, I think our class specifically is a lot less prepared to graduate and doesn’t feel mature enough to be going off to college because we essentially lost a year of our normal lives,” Curtis said. “A lot of us in isolation weren’t able to be held accountable for all of our responsibilities because we didn’t have staff or teachers checking in on us everyday at school. I think we all relate to the fact that we feel unprepared which is normal for every class that graduates. However, I think it’s affected our class because we haven’t even gotten a normal full 2 years together, not even half of our high school experience, therefore, a lot of us aren’t as close to leaving high school as we’d like to be.”

Senior Sofia Storey views our class as fortunate and elaborated on her perspective.

“I feel like everyone expects the class of 2022 to wrap up their high school experience into the pandemic and I feel like our class is actually lucky enough to not have to do that,” Storey exclaimed. “I think we got a really nice transition into the second semester in our junior year to gradually transition back to school and then we had a semi-normal senior year with homecoming, prom, and in-person graduation without masks. We also had a normal freshmen year and half of our sophomore year so I’m personally glad we get to define our experience in more things than just the pandemic. I know classes like 2020 and 2021 were not as lucky as we are and I think that’s the important thing.” 

Senior Alexis Grusby discussed the impact the pandemic has had on our friendships and the unity of our graduating class as a whole.

“Listen, I know the pandemic thing is now overly talked about but I do think it genuinely changed us, for the worse or for the better,” Grusby pronounced. “ I think it was scary to be alone for everyone, and it was such a drastic change from how many people we’re used to seeing at school to being isolated in a bubble with our families. People went through quarantine and came out completely different people, and in some cases, that’s amazing due to innerchange and in others it was hard to recognize the person they were before. However, I don’t think the class of 2022 should be looked at as pandemic kids. I think we should be looked at as the people who were stronger for going through this as I think high school and college is the hardest time to accept losing. It just made everyone appreciate each other, and in person education, so much more.”