XOXO, Julia: senior send-off


Photo by Ali Johnson

Julia Gibson poses while getting her senior photos taken.

Julia Gibson, Entertainment and Feature Editor

Being the youngest of three girls, all I wanted to do was grow up. I would watch movies and dream of the days when I would be in high school and finally feel grown up. Now that I will graduate high school in one week, there’s nothing I would want more than to go back and tell my younger self not to wish time away. 

Once freshman year hit, I realized high school wasn’t like how it’s pictured in the movies. After the first semester, I felt like I had finally adjusted to how my next four years would be, and then Covid hit. Schools shut down all over the country. I felt like it couldn’t get any worse than this and that I would never get a “real” high school experience. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I was missing out on, but I tried to keep a positive mindset throughout quarantine. I became closer to my family, got a puppy, and tried numerous TikTok trends. Making the most out of quarantine helped take my mind off of all the negative things. 

In the fall of 2020, we got the news that everyone could go back to school but for only two days a week with the other three would be virtual. I was excited to be able to have some sense of normalcy. With sophomore and junior years being filled with masks, some virtual classes, and social distancing, senior year would be my first full “normal” school year. I knew, no matter what, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to make up for the last few years. 

When the beginning of August 2022 came around, I was filled with sadness because I knew that this would be the last year I’d be in the same place with all of my childhood friends. But I was determined to make as many memories before we all left for college. So I dragged each of my friends to every single event to soak in our last year here. From Friday night lights in the Jungle to the Senior Sunrise to going to the Mineral Mexican restaurant weekly, I knew this would be the best year yet. 

I didn’t let the stress of college applications or choosing a college while studying for AP exams get to me because I knew everything would turn out fine in the end. I had the biggest support system behind me throughout my year and wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Throughout high school, I have learned some of the biggest lessons. It’s okay to mess up; don’t stress about the little things; and make the most of every moment. So that’s what I did for my senior year. I went to every event, took tons of pictures, and soaked in my last year in the small town that I’ll forever call home. I know that when August 2023 comes and I’m moving to college it will be a big change for me, but I couldn’t be more excited to see how this next chapter of my life will turn out.

To my family, friends, and teachers, thank you for helping me grow and allowing me to learn so much from all of you. Thank you, Louisa. There’s nowhere else I would’ve rather grown up

. Lastly, congratulations class of 2023!