Retrospective of the '21-'22 School Year
Anne Belevetz '23

We started the year in the thick of uncertainty about how classes would look with full capacity and continued to wear masks full time. Would we have school dances? Would we have traditions like Sleepy? Now, as the 21-22 school year comes to a close, the warm weather is making students antsy for the sweet, sweet taste of summer. As the year ends, we reflect on the past academic year, acknowledging our accomplishments and challenges. With the constantly changing atmosphere due to COVID, the students of SSSAS were challenged to adapt to whatever was thrown at them and have (almost) officially made it through another great year! I interviewed four students to hear about their reflections on this past year.

First up, I interviewed Dia Britto ‘25 about her first year at SSSAS. She described this year as eventful, innovative, and fun. She said she didn’t think COVID changed things in an academic way but there were some community events, like Sleepy Thompson, that were not as they usually are. She said if she could give a piece of advice to incoming freshmen it would be don’t be so scared of the upperclassmen. She elaborated saying, “Having an upperclassmen friend is so fun and beneficial in many ways.” Her biggest struggle of this year was probably keeping motivation in the latter part of the year, which I think many students can relate to! She said her high of the year was probably meeting new people since this was Dia’s first year at SSSAS. She said, “coming up on the end of the year, I can say I know very many people and am happier for it.” I then asked her what she was most proud of this year and she responded, “I feel like most peoples freshman year is what really defines the next years of high school and I’m proud of how I did socially, grades-wise, and athletically. For next year, Dia is most excited to continue spending time with the people she enjoys being around and being more social. Sounds like a good freshman year to me!

From the class of 2024, I interviewed James Brabham. He described his year as new, fast paced, and fun. He said if he could give himself a piece of advice at the beginning of sophomore year it would be to enjoy more of his classes because his biggest struggle this year was balancing school with sports. His high of the year was the football season and tennis season and interacting with the team. He said the class he struggled most with was AP World and he is most proud of his face jug he made in art class this year. Next year, James is most excited for the sports seasons and taking more challenging classes.

I interviewed Jack Joiner ‘23 about his thoughts on junior year. He described this year as demanding, exhausting, and stressful which I think many juniors can relate to! If he could give a piece of advice to his freshman year self he would have said to get more involved in clubs and community service opportunities because he thinks he’s missed out on opportunities to put certain things on his college resume which are now unavailable because of COVID and such. He also said he feels like he will have to cram these types of activities into his senior year. If he could give advice to his sophomore self, he would have said to work harder because of how demanding junior year has proven to be and how much work you have to really put in to get the results you want. His biggest struggle of this year was coming out of the hybrid learning schedule straight into such a grueling year in which you have to start to prepare for college, prep for the SAT, all while managing all the classes for this year. His biggest high of the year was just getting through it alright and he is most proud of his academic accomplishments this year while maintaining a normal lifestyle and social life. And lastly, Jack is most excited for having a normal year of high school next year, which our grade has never had.

Lastly, from the senior class, I interviewed Birukti Sullivan. She described this year as challenging, fun, and different. She said, in terms of COVID, sometimes it was hard coming to school with the strict mask mandates and because the past two years have been a combination of distance learning and in-person, everyone being fully in-person was kinda a lot. If she could give her past self a piece of advice about senior year she would say, “To not give up and keep studying and trying hard,” she continued saying, “Just because I’m a senior doesn’t mean I can slack off.” Her biggest struggle this year was taking midterms because she hadn’t taken exams like those in a long time and the amount of studying hit her extra hard this year. Birtukti’s high of the year was prom with all the festivities of getting ready for it and, of course, the dance itself. She is most proud of getting into a majority of the schools she applied to because she did not think that was a possibility for her. For next year, she is most excited for going to college and meeting new people along with being in a new environment.

And so, another school year has passed with so many achievements and with many students moving forward in their academic careers. Each grade had its challenges but after a long year, a well deserved summer vacation is right around the corner.