Class of 2021: The End of a Chapter

Written by: Catherine

Edited by: Megh

Visuals by: Allison

High school officially ended for seniors last Friday as they proudly marched out of high school with their Battle of the Bearcats (BOBx) trophy. From their first day entering high school as freshmen to their final days hyping up the batch with unflinching spirit, it has been a wild ride for the senior batch. As the soon-to-be graduates leave their mark on ISM, we want to leave a record of our seniors that truly encapsulate their four years. 

How did they survive the two years of IB? What songs helped them get through high school? What did their everyday life look like? As they close another chapter in their lives, we spotlight the Class of 2021 as they reminisce on their memories.

With three semesters of school spent at home, the senior batch showed incredible resilience as they completed their extended essay, CAS reports, internal assessments, and college applications during the unprecedented lockdown. As they grinded through their final stretch of high school, seniors missed out on many traditional senior events and ISM events alike, as iCARE transitioned to iCAREx and IASAS competitions were cancelled.   

While it is easy to recall memories from big events such as Battle of the Bearcats or iCARE, seniors say their favorite memories remain the smiles that came from small events in high school. Lila, a senior, says, “my favorite memories from high school were all the study hall and tutorial sessions in the library. It may seem to be such an insignificant event, but looking back to it, the library was a place where I could cry, laugh, sleep, study, and rant about everything going on at school. All my times in the library allowed me to create friends that I love for my life and invaluable memories I will never replace.” 

Another senior Leela agreed that it was the small interactions that made her high school years most enjoyable. “Weirdly enough, my favorite memories of high school are the mundane memories I have of high school. Getting to make a room full of people laugh during impromptu tryouts or winning BOBx are all great memories, but there’s just something about the everyday of getting an iced tea and chocolate croissant from the Bearcat Cafe before going to class and debating the classic Marvel versus DC debate with a teacher and then joshing around during G block study hall.” When asked if there was one song that would sum up high school, she said, “Every single Friday I would play Stuck by Imagine Dragons as the last song I would listen to before getting off the bus, and that is also just calming to me now.” 

Looking back on the past four years, seniors all say that it is the people who made the entire experience memorable. Senior Keitaro says, “If I had to choose one [favorite memory], it was playing for the middle school play Calamity Jane. [The show] ran for 3 nights in sophomore year, and Mr. Naz and I just played trombone together with Eion and Christian.” Despite the highs and lows of high school, he also noted how The Days by Avicii helped him get through high school. “I could play it anytime, during badminton, after a test (whether I did good or bad) or after a long week hanging out with my friends… It’s always a good song to play.” Senior Sarina recalls how her favorite memories come from every moment, big or small, in Dance Co. “I have never felt so loved by a group of dancers in my life. With them, I feel at home, and in the studio I feel like I’m in a different world from school. It’s my safe haven, with people who make me feel so at home. There is so much more to rehearsing everyday with these special girls- we laugh, wildly experiment, are dumb, fart, and cry together. They are my family. We are there for each other through everything in life.”

As seniors start another chapter of their lives, it is these small moments and tunes that will bring them back to the nostalgia of high school. Although the current circumstances prevented them from enjoying some traditional senior events, seniors say their final goodbyes to ISM and their high school journey with sweet and memorable experiences.