What Are You Looking Forward to This School Year?

Patricia Novak, Staff Writer

For many students, the new school year is not something to look forward to. It means waking up earlier than usual, taking harder classes than the year before, significantly less free time and endless piles of homework. However, there is much that students do look forward to. Returning events like school dances, football games and an overall sense of normalcy make coming back to school a little bit easier.

Sports have always been a big part of student life at Neuqua Valley. Football games specifically, being one of the most popular sports at Neuqua, are huge events that feel like one big party. In the student section, as crammed and stress-inducing as it might seem, is actually an experience that you can’t get anywhere else. Classmates cheering on classmates as they make names for themselves on the field, watching the poms and cheer team do stunts that they worked hard on for weeks, and chanting all together. Football games create a sense of community and connect people that wouldn’t usually be connected, all rooting for the same thing: a win. 

What seems like the most pressing stressor seems to be also something that students are looking forward to, making friends. Having a strong group of friends makes school less monotonous and provides social experience, which is an important life skill. Jack Doll, a junior, said that he is “looking forward to meeting new people and going to football games.” Overall, it seems like students are looking forward to the returning social aspect of school following the pandemic that had previously caused separation between classmates and teachers.

The restrictions from the pandemic are slowly, but surely, diminishing and leaving students with what is left of their high school experience. Charlotte Mahalla, a junior, stated that she is “looking forward to her first normal year” even if she is already a junior. She wants “to make the best of it,” and is ultimately ready. Events that were previously affected by COVID-19, are not being affected this year, such as school dances. Manasi Karat, a junior, said she “is excited for homecoming,” and is excited to see how the dance is decorated. She had only ever been to last year’s homecoming, which was outside in the circle drive. For every student at Neuqua Valley, it is the first relatively normal year of high school with no masks, no extended spring breaks and no event cancellations in sight.

Ultimately, a theme that i’s shown within all students this school year is a sense of community and normalcy that had been lost over the past couple years. We have gone from being completely shut away in our homes to slowly finding our way back into each other’s lives.