Seniors reflect on end of high school careers

June 25, 2020

RANSOM & BAZINE- COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on many people all over the world, whether it has been financial, economical, mental, physical, or a wide array of other impacts. But for the senior graduating class of 2020, COVID-19 and its impacts hit a different way.

Senior year is the year in school that is much-anticipated by nearly all students who pass through the hallways of a school. So much time is spent cultivating friendships, keeping up grades, making friends, and participating in school activities. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the year was cut short unexpectedly, leaving the senior class to deal with many emotions and causing them to miss out on the big events they had spent their whole high school careers, if not their entire educational careers, looking forward to.

“I am sad that this is how it had to end. I have been dreaming of my senior year for the longest time, and I just wish that it didn’t have to end like this,” stated senior HarLeigh Flax. Flax was involved in many athletics and extracurriculars during her time at Western Plains. Whether it was a sport, club, or other outside event, it was almost certain that you would see Flax there, either participating in that event, or volunteering her time for the greater good. Flax stated, when responding to what she will miss the most about high school, “Hanging out with my friends and sports. Both are a huge part of my life, and I will really miss them both.” Flax’s contributions to everything she did will be sorely missed as she moves on and graduates.

Another senior, Daylee Willey, seconded Flax’s remorse about senior year ending so abruptly. “Truly I just enjoyed the students, teachers, and staff. Seeing everyone every day is what I truly enjoyed. I think I’ll also miss seeing everyone, just walking down all the same halls everyday.” Willey will be missed for her quick wit and always having something entertaining to share.

Giovanna Nava commented, “I think what I enjoyed the most is just being in a small school and having the teachers explain and help when needed. I will miss just being in high school because I know once you’re done with high school, it’s different. College is different, and you have more responsibilities.” Nava is no stranger to hard work, as she has been working many hours at Rhode Island Suites along with going to school. Nava plans on attending NCK Tech in Hays first need to get her pre-reqs, then hopefully nursing school for the LPN program.

The final senior in the graduating class, Moises Gomez, stated, “It feels strange at one point, and also weird. Never did I expect this to happen. I think my biggest disappointment I faced was not being able to finish high school the right way in a classroom with my friends.” Gomez will be missed for his quiet, respectful attitude, and his kindness to all, as well as his contributions to the basketball team, where he played a guard position and was a strong leader for the team.

The seniors do have plans to celebrate their graduations, mostly small family gatherings or even just spending time alone. “I plan to celebrate graduation with my family with a cookout with good Mexican food on the grill- hopefully there will be nice weather!” Nava exclaimed. Flax has a different perspective. “If and when we have a graduation, after everything is done and everyone has gone home, I’m going to go out to the Bluffs by myself and just sit there and watch the water.” Flax enjoys being out in nature and will no doubt spend some of that time reflecting on the whirlwind her high school career has been. With the closing of the high school chapter, the focus must shift to what comes next. Flax plans on attending Benedictine College in Atchison. Nava will attend NCK Tech in Hays. Willey will be attending Eric Fisher Academy in Wichita. As for now, Gomez is content to work on the family business and follow his dreams.

Before that, though, each student will be spending the summer working. “I’ll be working at Midland Coop here in McCracken for the summer,” explained Willey. Nava will be working at Rhode Island Suites in Ransom, Flax at the daycare in Ransom, and Gomez was planning on working in the oil field but now with the recent change in the oil economy, he is back to the drawing board and searching for a job.

When asked what she is most disappointed about missing out on for the remainder of the school year, Flax responded, “I am really upset that we didn’t get to have State Forensics. This was going to be my year. Mine and Jazzy’s duet just made it to State a few weeks before Spring Break, and we were super excited about it.” Flax had a goal of becoming a State Champion.

All in all, each student will look back on their time at WPHS with fond memories; some good and some bad, but nonetheless, each senior appreciated their time in high school. As for advice for incoming freshmen, Nava says, “ just listen and do what you’re asked to do, and be respectful.” Willey chimed in, “DO NOT RUSH; time will go by in the blink of an eye and I was the freshman that couldn’t wait for senior year.” Gomez added, “Make sure you take school seriously and turn in your homework on time.” Flax summed high school up in a nutshell: “Fun. Rewarding. Exhausting,” she said.

WPHS will certainly miss these four seniors and wish them nothing but the best as they continue on their journey of life.