By Erica Laidler (Feature Editor).
The warm late spring lunches in the courtyard, the bustle between classes, the chemistry lab failures, the Eagle Pride tweets, and the locker room laughter before practice – Sharon High School’s graduating seniors will have a lot to remember about their high school years.
The Class of 2016 took great care to make this year’s senior week a fun, unifying, and positive note on which to end four years packed with vivid memories. Beginning on May 27, the schedule included a daytrip to Boston for a Codzilla speedboat tour, an interactive play, a field trip to their elementary and middle schools, and a barbecue. Seniors also check out the Newport cliff walk on Wednesday, partied at prom and continued the festivities on Graduation Sunday.
“Senior week was a good culmination of all [the fun we’ve had in high school],” said senior Yuval Levin. “Everyone was relaxed, so the week was very stress free and enjoyable.”
Levin says she noticed a shift in the class’s dynamic emerge at the beginning of senior year and grow as senior week progressed. “There were definitely moments where everyone came together as a grade, and people who weren’t normally together in school hung out. People were focusing on…how far we’ve come and not so much on the past or on grades,” she said.
Senior George Goldman says he also was pleased to see the senior class bond this year and during senior week before going their separate ways. He said his peers “have been bound together by our shared struggles–senior work, college apps, future decisions…And as a result we’ve gotten much closer and less ‘cliquey.’”
“People, in general, are much more open to impromptu conversation, including but not limited to reminiscing on the nostalgia of middle school and elementary school when we weren’t so caught up in the very complicated life that high school creates for all of us,” added Goldman.
Many of the events during this year’s senior week, including the trip to Newport, prom, and graduation, have been traditional characteristics of the fun week for years. But this year, seniors also dressed in graduation robes and made their collective way to elementary schools and the middle school to greet and inspire waiting students.
Senior Isabel Lisle says Tuesday was a busy day for her grade. “In the morning we watched educational theatre about dating violence and sexual assault – it was a great message before we all head off to college and the real world to remind ourselves about red flag relationships – and then came the senior walk, and later a barbecue,” she said.
“It was so much fun,” said Lisle about the senior walk. “Everyone was cheering and high-fiving us.”
After the cliff walk in Newport, seniors had the option of staying on the beach or wandering around the town through restaurants and shops.
“My friends chose to go into the town, and we had a nice brunch, walked around for two hours, and popped in and out of stores like The Black Dog and Sephora,” said senior Morgan Usen. “It was nice to be with everyone.”
Regardless of the other events which fill senior week, prom tends to be one of the highlights. This year it took place at Lakeview Pavilion in Foxboro, followed by an afterparty at Showcase Cinema at Gillette Stadium.
According to Levin, prom at the pavilion was a blast. “The decorations were beautiful, and so was the venue and the theme (around the world). The planning board did an awesome job organizing the whole event. And the food was a lot better than last year’s prom,” said Levin.
For many seniors, the graduation ceremony in the auditorium on Sunday and consequent afterparty at the community center helped solidify the notion that they will never again take a class at Sharon High School.
Usen says graduating was a profound milestone for every one of her peers, and “people have mixed emotions.”
“It is a very exciting time for all of us, but I think that it is also a little scary because we will be leaving the Sharon bubble and moving out into the real world,” said Usen.
“We’re shocked that it is finally time to walk across the stage and grab the diplomas, happy to be done with highschool, sad to be leaving friends behind, and excited to be starting a new chapter in our lives,” she said.