Zoe Cate

Happy Valley Area


Favorite subject your senior year: Journalism (Blueprint)

If applicable, list some activities you were part of during high school: EIC of Blueprint, varsity tennis captain

My life dramatically changed on Friday, March 13, when the district announced that school would be closed for three weeks or even until the end of the school year. On March 12, I had my last day of senior year—of high school—and I had no idea. It was an overwhelming sense of loss that propelled me into a state of grieving. This was not what I, or anyone, expected. Everything I’ve known for the past four years has come to an abrupt end with no warning. I can’t help but mourn the little things I’ll likely never experience again, like running through the hallways to make it to class on time, having classes with people I have known since the second grade, or chatting with friends in the parking lot after class.

This part of my life has come to an end, along with other day-to-day moments that I took for granted. For the last three years, I have watched the senior class come together in these last months and take part in special traditions. I have worked hard and patiently waited until it was my time to be celebrated and experience those same traditions. And just as the hard work ended, so did my high school experience. None of those milestones will happen for the class of 2020 in the near future. The dates for prom, time of reflection, senior picnic, ditch day, and most importantly, graduation will pass as we sit in our homes desperately trying to get closure and be okay with the ending of our high school years. Although this feels like an overwhelming, all-consuming loss, we must remember all that we have gained during our four years at Acalanes. I built friendships, communities, and memories that I will cherish forever. I have had teachers who have shaped my way of thinking and become incredible mentors. I have been challenged, supported, and pushed, and most importantly, I have learned. Learned who I am, what I believe in, and who I’d like to be. As cheesy as it sounds, I have become who I am at Acalanes. These four years will be a part of me forever, and despite the loss of this time, I have so much to be thankful for. So to the class of 2021, I urge you, make the most of the time you have left. It is so easy to get caught up in the college process, in the daily routine of classes and extracurricular activities, and at times you might even find yourself counting down the days until graduation. Don’t. One day it will all come to an end, and you will wish you had more time left. Talk to the people in your classes who you normally wouldn’t, get to know your teachers, and enjoy even the littlest of moments. I promise you --- one day you will look back and those little moments will become the memories you keep close to your heart forever. So to the class of 2020, no, this was not what we expected, but it is our reality, and we must remember we are living in a historic time. We will come out of this as a stronger, more persistent, and more unified class. Take these lessons with you and grow from this experience. This is an ending that is unique to our class and our class only, and if anyone can persevere, it is the Class of 2020.