This year looked very different for so many Seniors across East Texas. We wanted to take some time to hear from a few of them and to congratulate them on their High School Graduation. We took some time to interview the daughter of one of our ETM writers. Thank you Na’Kayla for giving us a glimpse into your Senior year and your experience with COVID-19.
Meet Na’Kayla Hill.
What school do you go to?
Lindale High School
What activities are you involved in?
Student Council, Choir
Do you have a job?
Yes, I work at Andy’s
If so, what changes have been made?
Andy’s has remained strong and very very busy! Because it’s not a dine in restaurant they’ve stayed open. Their motto is to serve and love on people which has been very evident within this new normal.
Did you have experience taking an online class before this year’s move to fully online? If not, what’s been a big struggle taking an online course?
I’ve never had to take an online course in school at all, it has definitely been an experience. I find it easy to teach myself but the struggle has been the absence of my teachers who I love so very much.
Prom and senior activities seem to be the highlight of senior year for everyone and of course I’m sad about all of the cancellations, but my family and friends have created memories for me these past few months that I will forever be thankful for.
At this time, do you know what is going to be done about graduation?
Our graduation is still on for May 29th! Each graduate is being handed out only 5 tickets for social distancing in the ceremony.
How are your parents dealing with missing activities that you were involved in and things that would close out those activities?
My parents have been very supportive of my friends and i during this very unusual time. More than anything, they would want to celebrate me almost everyday if they could! I am very thankful for both of my parents and their efforts in making this a great time for me.
What type of emotions are you experiencing with this being your senior year and so with many changes?
It would be hard for me to express how I feel toward all of the changes and the “new normal”. I think I’ve probably experienced every emotion there is. But I’ve mostly been trying to have a positive mindset towards everything and it’s done very well for me.
What plans did you have to cancel or alter for your final semester due to Covid? The season for all of my events was technically over, so I believe prom, senior trips, and almost graduation were my only plans.
Can you tell me something positive that has come out of this? Have you tried anything new?
I have an entire new outlook on society as a whole! There is so much more to life than just what we have made it out to be. I have used this time to relax from the everyday busy schedule and attempt to discovery things about me I’ve never known. I love to do crafty activities, and I’ve been trying different exercises to clear my mind and stay active.
Tell me about something that happened this year that if you had known it would be the last time you would experience it you would have paid more attention.
My last day of school before spring break I was so tired of school that I missed the last day. I was productive and went to a nearby college for a “visit”. Little did I know the day I missed would be the last day I’ll ever have of high school again. I would’ve gone to school that Friday to experience my last day and not take advantage of what I have.
How do you think this health crisis has changed your life the most?
I’ve honestly haven’t paid much attention to the news but to hear things on social media breaks my heart for the families losing loved ones. It’s definitely changed my life by cherishing every moment I have with my family. Whether we’re on good terms or bad at that moment it’s a moment that some families won’t ever get again.
How do you think that this health crisis has changed the future of how our country handles things like this?
I have no idea if locking people down was a great idea or bad idea! People are gonna be who they are and rebellion is real. But I do believe that there’s always gonna be support for those who need it mentally and physically.
How do you think this will effect your generation’s outlook on life?
I can’t speak for my generation but I believe and I pray to God that we come out of this wiser than ever. I pray that this allows us to cherish and be thankful for just life.