Farewell, Class of 2021: The Radnorite Senior Edition
Radnor High School Class of 2021 Graduation, photograph taken by Sammy Rosin.
On Wednesday, June 16 at 4:00 pm, Radnor High School’s Class of 2021 graduated. The ceremony was held outdoors at Villanova University with beautiful weather, celebrated with parents, families, and friends in attendance. A live-streamed version of the graduation can be found here
. Mr. Tim Midget, a beloved Ithan Elementary physical education teacher, gave the keynote address. He spoke about growing up and living by his classic advice: be active, be healthy, be happy. Other graduation speakers included Class Vice President Victoria DiCarlo, Class Treasurer Elise Palmer, Executive Director Sheila Esgro, Class President and Valedictorian Brendan Hung, Salutatorian Richa Kuklani, Superintendent Dr. Batchelor, and Principal Ms. Kevgas. Speakers discussed the resiliency of the graduating class, the challenges they met, and the ways in which they dealt with and overcame their challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos of graduation can be found here
and additional photos of senior events can be found on the school district website
Becca Zajac, our Class Secretary, gave the closing speech after the presentation of diplomas. Now, graduation is an undeniably big moment — the culmination of 12 years of hard work. But Becca chose to highlight the sometimes minute and unappreciated moments of high school. Writer Richard Price gave the following advice to journalists, but I think the same concept applies: “The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. … You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.” Essentially, when dealing with something of such magnitude, sometimes the way to comprehend its emotion and impact is by looking at the smallest pieces.
High school is a big, messy, and chaotic time. But small moments, like touring the school for the first time and getting lost, the long line that wrapped around the cafeteria on Russ’ muffin days, the way the floors squeaked under sneakers when it rained, the way seniors would pass us as a freshman for walking too slow in the hallway, the rolls of gossamer that hung for our Candyland-themed Freshman semi-formal, the mad rush for Chick-fil-a at the beginning of lunches and Alfredo Fridays, the glow in the dark tunnel into Sophomore Semi-formal and moonbounce, the LM painting until early hours and midnight milkshakes, the posters hanging from every staircase and wall for officer elections, the collective anxiety before math tests as people frantically read formulas aloud, the pineapple and mango smell in the bathrooms before they were locked for the day, the constant threat to tow junior’s cars over the PA system, the bleachers shaking under the student section at football games as the Ruckus cheered on our teams, rolling into first period late with an iced coffee or running out of fourth period early to get to Wawa, the deafening sound of the senior class during LM pep rallies, and the way administration would stand in the corner during senior dance parties during LM week monitoring for dance code violations, or the way the science hallway always smelled like baked goods above the FACS room, or the “oooohs” of classmates after getting called down to the principal’s office for not submitting the Daily Screener Survey—these small, seemingly insignificant moments filled my days over the years. These are the moments I’ll look back on with wonder, laughter, and better judgment in 20 years.
As a person very fond of control, I reveled in the seeming predictability of senior year as an underclassman. I imagined painting the field house, getting into my dream college under Early Decision, creating the greatest hallways in LM week history, attending sports games to cheer on our seniors, and celebrating completely with the senior class.
Some of that happened this year, some of that did not. The field house was painted beautifully
with a musical theme. This was our first senior event of the year and everyone was outdoors, masked, socially distanced, and temperature checked. All the same, for many of us, it was the first time we saw each other in months, kicking off a truly unpredictable year.
I think the lack of control and predictability is what made the last year so difficult. I remember sadly joking, “we’ll at least we’re not seniors,” as their world fell apart. The joke was on me as the pandemic carried into the 2020-21 school year and affected all aspects of life.
I consider myself to be a studious, curious, and passionate person. I always looked forward to college. In junior year, I mistakenly bubbled in the circle on a standardized test asking for college mail (any underclassmen reading this, please do not). As my inbox filled, I marveled at how many colleges wanted me. I submitted applications and poured my heart into my essays. And I got rejected or waitlisted from my top five schools.
I was devastated, to say the least. But much later, when the pain dulled, I realized that I made two egregious mistakes: one, I assigned order and logic to a random and flawed system. The college admissions process is not a meritocracy, nor is it a perfect process, especially this year as applications for some colleges doubled without requiring test scores. My second mistake was believing that my rejections were personal failures. I had equated success, status, and intelligence with admittance to “elite” institutions. Unlearning this mindset is a long and painful process, but ultimately, I know I’ll be better for it. And for anyone going through a similar situation, I highly recommend documentaries about the college admissions scandal which soften the blow. But, like everyone says “Everything will work out as it should.”
For me, one of the best ways to regain confidence in myself was writing for the school paper and participating in Radnorite’s discussions. I joined the paper my freshman year and it has been my privilege to serve as the Editor-in-Chief over the last year. I am continually impressed with our writers’ dedication and diligence, especially in covering sensitive topics.
Over time, the year came together. After last year and the canceling of all spring sports, our RHS teams came back stronger than ever this year with both the Girls and Boys Lacrosse teams winning States! Other memorable events for the senior class
include the senior prom, the senior carnival, the senior barbeque, Baccalaureate, Senior Recognition night, and numerous graduation practices to prepare us for walking across the stage and tossing our caps.
Jokes aside, so much of this year was unpredictable. The school year started with all-virtual instruction, shifted to a hybrid model, and ended with a fully in-person option. Every day was a different Schoology schedule and no one knew what to look forward to more than a day in advance. The last year has truly been an exercise in letting go of control and coping with uncertainty.
Over quarantine, I watched far too many movies, trying to find some solace in fiction. I will watch anything with the late great Robin Williams, especially the Night of the Museum
trilogy. One scene always sticks out to me, perhaps poignant for this time in our lives. At the end of the last movie, after all of the conflict is resolved, museum night watchman Ben Stiller’s character is aimless. Robin William’s Teddy Rosevelt character shares “It’s time for your next adventure,” to which Stiller replies “I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow.” William earnestly ends with “How exciting
The Class of 2021 is arguably too familiar with unprecedented times and unpredictability. But as we move on from Radnor, I hope these experiences will prepare us for all of our next adventures, whatever they will be. I know I will certainly look back gratefully for all of the relationships and lessons I gained at Radnor, as I hope you do as well. To the Radnor High School Class of 2021, thank you and congratulations! Go forth and do great things. I wish us all the best.
Class of 2021 Next Steps:
*Students elected to share their post-Radnor plans. If you would like to be added to the list or make any changes to the list, please email Anne Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congratulations, Class of 2021!
About the Writer
Anne Griffin, Editor-in-Chief
Anne has been a Randorite reporter and photographer since 2017. She is an active member of the Radnor's Model United Nations club and the ACLAMO Spanish...
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