Seven. Seven days. Seven days until the 2022 seniors of Rockford East High enter the real world.
It’s a common practice for the editor-in-chief to write a farewell letter to their fellow seniors, but also being Class President, the other class officers and I have a very different perspective from the rest of the 2022 class.
Thirteen. Thirteen years. Thirteen years of mandatory schooling is coming to an end. Up until senior year, graduation day has been the one thing I have looked forward to above all else, but now that it’s only a few weeks away, that feeling has shifted to being unsettled. From the fear of facing the unknown, to the fear of facing what we all know will come along with college and beyond, this fear may seem debilitating, but our class has proven that change is merely an experience, not one to be scared of.
Student Commission is responsible for a lot during the school year, but Prom was the largest task on our to-do list. Planning started for the important dance at the beginning of the semester and has taken nearly the whole semester to complete.
Obviously, these last four years have been far from what anyone imagined, but they have given our class an invaluable skill: the ability to adapt. We were just sophomores when our high school experience was transformed into this undiscovered possibility and our junior year was far from typical. Having to deal with remote learning and constant schedule changes, the class of 2022 learned how to roll with the punches and pivot at a moment’s notice.
Delainey Turek, class vice president, Vanessa Rodriguez, class secretary, and myself have been behind the scenes planning just about any event that students would participate in.
“We’ve planned the Homecoming, which itself was a very big event,” said Rodriguez.
Events like this take much more time to plan than anyone could think. Homecoming was Oct. 2, and everything started getting planned at the beginning of August.
All three of the class officers can agree on one thing: that Kristin Turek, adviser for Student Commision, has done so much to make our senior year memorable. I don’t usually struggle with my words, but I think it’s impossible to capture all that Kristin Turek has done.
“She’s really the backbone of this whole group,” said Rodriguez.
However, I do need to say thank you to Kristin Turek; she has been the biggest supporter of the class of 2022. She has set this class up for success, but being so honest about what we needed to do in order to have a great senior year, she was always there to help us with whatever ideas we needed help bringing to fruition. From the entire class of 2022, thank you, Mama T.
Senior year is not just about school dances and pep rallies for East High students; it also involves a new understanding of the E-Rab spirit. There’s a sense of pride amongst E-Rabs both old and new alike; it’s always there.
In these most recent years, that red and black spirit has felt waning, which is most obvious with the EL Vevo! cheer at the graduation ceremonies. I could be biased, but I like to think that the class of 2022 has brought some of this spirit back. Our time is running out at East High, so it is up to the current junior class to carry these traditions. Even though our time as students is fleeting, this E-Rab spirit is ingrained into our lives and will impact all of our future endeavors. On behalf of the senior class officers, we all hope that the class of 2023 can become more involved and bring some of that spirit back.
“I hope everyone prides themselves on being an E-Rab and starts to get involved more. It will help you enjoy high school more,” said Rodriguez.
“Don’t be scared to step outside of your comfort zone,” added Delainey Turek. “These are the times you don’t get back.”