As graduation nears, Class of ‘23 share thoughts on leaving MV

As graduation nears, Class of ‘23 share thoughts on leaving MV

Madeline Fiedler, News Editor

For MV seniors, as they prepare to move on to the next chapter of their lives, it’s a significant and emotional time for them during this transition that can cause a range of emotions, from excitement and anticipation to sadness and anxiety, as they prepare to move on.

Seniors have come a long way in terms of personal growth and academic achievements.

Reflecting on their journey reveals many achievements and highlights from their years of growth.

Ms. Nealy Hamson, senior counselor, mentioned, “The Class of 2023 has accomplished so much in their years at MV. From academics to athletics and extracurriculars, time and time again they have finished at the top. I couldn’t even begin to list specific accomplishments for fear I would leave someone out. I have watched them mature into young adults over the past three years. They have persevered to overcome adversity and should be proud of themselves and all they have accomplished.”

Cassie White, ‘23, stated, “I am very proud of who I have become through high school. I came from a very small grade school, and only one other person from that school came to MV with me. I was super shy and did not talk to any type of person my freshman year. I have now grown to be outgoing even in awkward situations.”

Aidan Brown, ‘23, commented, “I think my time here at MV has really helped to mold me into a better version of myself.”

Of course, everyone’s high school experience is unique, and there are always moments that stand out as particularly memorable.

Jackson Mills, ‘23, noted, “[My favorite moments were] Mostly my time on the robotics team, and dressing as a crusader to school.”

Dayton Harper, ‘23, explained, “Some of my best moments here at MV have definitely been at sporting events, each game that I have photographed at has given me a different level of experience and appreciation for this school.”

Brown added, “I’ve been to three different high schools, and those times when this school really made it a point to show its pride, almost made me proud of a place I wasn’t even born [in]. So I think my fondest memories would be the few school events I attended.”

Many seniors have various plans and goals for their future, and while the future may be uncertain, they have many options and opportunities ahead of them.

White stated, “I will be attending Missouri University of Science and Technology to study Mechanical Engineering.”

Mills explained that he would be, “A work addicted masochist who laughs at the misery of others.”

Brown announced, “I plan to become a mechatronic engineer, and will be going to SIUE next year to start working on that.”

Getting involved in clubs and organizations is another essential part of the high school experience.

Mills stated, “While at MV, you will see many organizations with different symbols, pick your favorite, and wear that symbol upon your back proudly.”

Harper mentioned, “Join Youth & Government, along with Vernois News and Yearbook… they will be the best experiences of your life.”

High school can be a challenging time for seniors, as they navigate academic, social, and personal pressures, however not all challenges have to be bad.

White noted, “Having to overcome the challenges that come with being a woman and going into my field of study [has challenged me the most]. Boys are mean and they are even more mean when you are right and they are wrong.”

Harper stated, “Dr. Jamey VanZandt has challenged me the most within my years at MV. I met him as a sophomore and he has challenged me since.”

Mills commented, “My freshman year most definitely [challenged me the most], you aren’t even a person as a freshman really, you’re some creature despised by the other classes.”

Seniors have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with their underclassmen, and can offer valuable advice as they prepare to leave high school. 

Brown advised, “Get involved early, your time gets scarcer as the years go on and the responsibilities pile up.”

White explained, “Don’t stress over the big things, just break them up into smaller bite-sized pieces so you do not get overwhelmed. Also, DO NOT lose sleep over assignments, you will find time to do them the next day, I promise.”

It’s not uncommon for seniors to undergo significant personal growth and change over the course of their high school careers. 

Harper stated, “I’ve grown creatively and mentally, I’ve learned different things about myself that truly make me feel better and different since freshman year.”

White mentioned, “I probably look the exact same as I did freshman year and dress the exact same, but I have changed a lot on the inside.”

As seniors prepare to leave high school and embark on the next phase of their lives, their memories will never be forgotten here at MV, and will remain as a part of their unique journey that has contributed to shaping the person that they are today.

Mills noted, “To quote my favorite novel ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish.’”

Ms. Hamson stated, “The Class of 2023 will forever hold a special place in my heart as being the first class I have graduated as a counselor at MV. Covid made it hard my first year to really connect with and get to know students. This group of seniors have definitely had an impact on me as a counselor. As a counselor, I learn from every group of students I have, so they have definitely made me a better counselor. I hope they know how special they are to me and once a student, always a student. I hope in the future if they ever need me that they know I am here to support them!”

Harper added, “Join everything, enjoy the moments, and take care of your mental health,” and, “Remember, if it’s a drawing or a sketch, it’s a picture, if it’s coming from a camera, it’s a photograph.”