Nicole Prozan

Happy Valley Area


Favorite subject your senior year: AP Comparative Government and Economics

If applicable, list some activities you were part of during high school: Cheerleading, Blueprint, Feminism Club, Jewish Club, CARE Leader

I was visiting a college when I heard that school was cancelled for three weeks. With the stress of an upcoming test and essay happening the day I got back, I wasn’t too disappointed -- it was only three weeks, right?

I signed onto zoom meetings, downloaded group facetiming apps with my friends, read a book just for fun for the first time since high school started… it felt like I was being productive, until I wasn’t anymore. And then, we got news that the school closure was extended. And then it was extended again, only this time, until the end of the school year.

To be honest, I still don’t know how to feel. I spend a lot of time thinking about the things I had planned to do this semester, whether it was a good article I wanted to bring to my social studies teacher, going to school bright and early on a Saturday morning l for my last Blueprint work weekend, having one last hurrah with my friends until we each head our separate ways. And now, I don’t get to do any of those things, at least not in the way that I imagined.

What this time has made me realize, however, is how important our relationships and experiences are. I spent a lot of time this past semester sitting in my bed, writing essays for schools I didn’t want to go to, staying up late to make sure I got the perfect grade on a presentation (though even then it didn’t always end up like that). I allowed myself to get consumed by a college admissions process that I had little to no control over. And I have to wonder now -- was it worth it? Was the last four years of rushing myself around from extracurricular to sports and back to club meetings worth it?

Maybe it was. Maybe it will pay off in the end. But at this point, I wish I had recognized the value in the friendships that I spent years cultivating. I wish I had spent more time at lunch in my favorite teachers' classrooms. I wish I had played a board game with my family rather than rushing upstairs to my room hoping to perfect my essay.

Though there is no way to turn back time and relive the amazing experience that the past four years have been in my life, I know that I am learning and growing from the pain I feel now. I am trying to stay as connected as possible, to make substantive changes in the way that I approach school and my relationships, and to know that we will all eventually recover from the tumultuous few months that this has been and will continue to be.