Coastal Living

CARTERET COUNTY — 2021 class presidents share, in their words, what they learned about themselves in the pandemic year:

1) Angus Withee

Gramercy Christian School

What did you learn about yourself and your class from the past year’s experience?

Yeah I think the number one thing I learned about myself is both that I’m really dependent on routine and that I tend to, once I get into a routine, not be able to I’m not really able to break it or get back into an old routine like with online school in the pandemic.    

I lost the routine of just going to school every day, doing normal life, and into a routine of more laid-back activity and then, when we actually got back to real school, it kind of hit me harder than I expected. Just going back to having to get into a real routine. I think it’s that way for same for most people, and you don’t realize how important it is to have those things until you don’t have them anymore.

What would be your biggest and most important memory of the past year?

I think, for me, at least the best memory was when we actually came back to school at Gramercy. At least, we are able to have a lot of the things we normally do, like sports. For me, the number one thing that I love is drama so we were able to put on production of The Importance of Being Earnest this year. It was really fun and that was definitely my favorite part and it will be a memory that I cherish forever.

Are there any regrets from the past year?

Yeah, I’ve got some regrets about this year, mostly just that I tend to be a person who likes to be involved in everything like sports and drama. I take every class I can and I think I may have stretched myself a little too thin this year because I think coming off the pandemic I wasn’t able to do any of the stuff I enjoy doing and then I wanted to do everything all at once. I did lose a bit of time to actually enjoy what was going on and enjoy the end of high school. Maybe, if I just cut out one or two things and not try to do so much I would have had a slightly better experience near the end but I don’t know it’s tough to say whether or not it would have been better but maybe it would have.

What have you learned from this, how much of this will influence your year ahead?  Advice for the next class?

I would just say stick to the things you love and make sure you dive headfirst into those things and really be a part of the community that you’re in. Just really get everything you can out of it but don’t go too far into that so you just feel like everything is stress just make sure you do everything that you love without stretching yourself so thin that you don’t really able to enjoy the things you love that would be my main piece of advice.

2) Sydney Eure

West Carteret HS

What did you learn about yourself and your class from the past year’s experience?

Not only I, but also the class, is extremely resilient and by keeping our heads held high it’s like we can finally see the light and the end of the tunnel now. Last spring semester of 2020 it was kind of like a wow, this... that ... really sucks for the seniors this year and we all assume that everything will be back to normal in just a few months and it just keeps going and going. But I think the no masks and vaccinations are the biggest stepping point we had.   

What was the greatest challenge?

Communication, it’s a lot more difficult when you can’t just ask your teacher a question in person and then you just have to email back and forth it just feels like a lot more work. Rather just have an easy in person conversation. I think everybody, we try to do things to interact with each other and everything but it is not the same as being in person. Obviously it shows who puts the work in as well.

What would be your biggest and most important memory of the past year?

Well it hasn’t come yet, but I think graduation this year is going to be the best memory. Not only are we celebrating all of our past 12 years of school and hard work and everything. But also we don’t have to wear masks at graduation so it will kind of be a celebration of everything. Just being able to come together and celebrate not only us but also the end of an era.  

Are there any regrets from the past year?

If you could call covid a regret, then that would be my regret. But I’m not sure that can ever be taken back. I think without covid it, I mean obviously things would be a thousand times different. So, there is not much to regret because there was not much we could do with covid.

What have you learned from this, how much of this will influence your year ahead?

Well, everything is online everything is on computers; obviously we resorted to the computers when things went wrong to do zoom calls and still have class and learn. So that is another thing that is pushing me towards media because everything is on computers nowadays. And that is just how we communicate. Not only, even without covid we are still just constantly using computers and I think that just put an emphasis on it this past year.

3) Riley Morris

East Carteret HS

What did you learn about yourself and your class from the past year’s experience?

We learn from what happened at the end of our junior year and how to apply that to our senior year. Personally, for me, I saw that just going straight into an online learning. Taking a big adjustment was hard. I was struggling with my school work and what not. Schooling just had a wrench thrown into it but I think that our senior year was one of my most successful years of high school. I think that this was the case for a lot of seniors that we were able to bounce back and know what it was going to be like and just how to adjust so I’m fairly happy with how I coped with it all.

What would be your biggest and most important memory of the past year?

So my family, we decided that we wanted to get out of the house as I‘m sure a lot of people did and airfare wasn’t really an option. We didn’t really want to do that and go stay in hotels and take the traditional vacation experience so we rented an RV and showered across the country and that was my most favorite family vacation. I think it was the greatest time I’ve ever had.

Are there any regrets from the past year?

Probably just not doing enough and in my opinion I think I could have done more looking back I see time that I definitely wasted that that could have been put forth towards learning when I finish an exam on Wednesday no, excuse me, Tuesday I finished it and I closed the packet and my first thought to myself was I could do more and I just don’t think I was as confident with it and I was thinking looking back on all the past months and stuff,  I should have done this, I should have done this, I should have done this,  I’m generally pleased with what I did but I think I definitely could have taken more work to my school.

What have you learned from this, how much of this will influence your year ahead? Advice for next class?

Be resilient because we can’t chose what’s coming our way, we can only chose how we react to combat those challenges.

4) Shelby Waltrip

Croatan HS

What did you learn about yourself and your class from the past year’s experience?

One thing I think we learned is how much we need to rely on each other. Because last year we didn’t have a teacher with us at all times. We did a lot.. I know I did a lot from my bed at midnight. So I think that we had to learn... I had... you know I was on facetime with people trying to understand what assignments we had because we didn’t have that teacher in our classroom. So we learned that we relied on each other so much more than we actually though we did so that was kind of nice.

What would be your biggest and most important memory of the past year?

We went back to school this year. I think the best memory is when we had the four days back. So, we had almost like 70% of kids in the classroom, I’m not sure. And I walk down the hallways and I saw people I haven’t seen since March so it was really cool I got to walk through the hallways and see people you haven’t even recognized. And then we came back at the end of march of 2021. So it had been almost a year since I had seen the hallways filled with people. So it was really cool to see everybody back in the building. One thing teachers learned through being out is how much we are connected to each other and how much we really do lean on each other not just the teachers leaning on teachers, because I know they did that a lot especially during this. But also the students leaning on the students. So they had to really help eachother and help find ways to interact with students. Even though that student is virtual but you are at school two days a week. I had a group chat for every class I was in helping people out, reminding people. Because the virtual kids sometimes you have to be like “hey, don’t forget we have a project due” or whatever. Snapchat group chats saved a lot of people. I took an AP literature class and we’d have assignments/chapters we would need to read. And I liked texting the group chat “hey, make sure we read chapter 8” in the group chat just so people knew. Because it was hard to keep up with stuff.  Especially when you aren’t going to school. So I like to help remind people when they have to get stuff done.

Are there any regrets from the past year?

I wish that I savored the moments that I had in class more. Because we didn’t go to school at all on Wednesdays this year. And I always looked forward to Wednesdays, but then I was alone on Wednesdays and I was like “ man I kinda wish I was in school”. So I wished that I savored the fact that we were all together for the 45 minutes or an hour and 20 minute class that we had.  

What have you learned from this, how much of this will influence your year ahead? / (how prepared are you for college?)

I think I am more prepared that I would be if this was a normal year. Because I have learned so much about myself. And I know have a planner, which everyone says you should get a planner but I never actually did... and then I got one last year to actually write down the work I had to do. I think I am more prepared. Socially: I think going to school would help a little bit, but I think I am more prepared time wise.

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