The Multiverse of the Class of 2023

“Seeing my friends again and developing bonds with teachers felt so nice after a year of isolation.”

These past few years have been a whirlwind, and I believe there is no better way to describe it than as if I have been stuck in the multiverse. Every year was a separate world, a different timeline. That must be the only explanation for how exponentially unique every year in my high school career was. If you don’t believe me, let me take you on a journey across these universes, the multiverse of the Class of 2023.

Freshman Year

Here is our first stop, a universe conveniently named “Freshman Year,” full of wide-eyed students unaware of what the next four years would bring for them as they grasp onto their backpacks, ready for whatever may come their way. They attempt to adjust to new teachers, new hallways, and to some, a whole new district. In the first few months, we all tried to gain footing in our new world. Some joined clubs, while others shined in athletics. We were excited for the year and what awaited: field trips, March Madness, and other events.

However, we would lose everything in mid-March of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit New Jersey, and we were forced into online learning for the rest of our inaugural year. We finished the year through our computer screens and lost that freshman year experience we were promised. And with that, we were sucked into another timeline.

Sophomore Year

“Sophomore Year” is definitely more blue-lighted than the other three worlds, as it was almost entirely online. We were stuck in our rooms, isolated. For some students, they had no one to talk to in this universe. Even when the school turned to hybrid learning, the barren classrooms still felt so constraining. We tried our best to make the best of it, but faceless classes and club meetings were getting old. There was so much to talk about and issues to speak out on, but at times this felt overwhelming for us 15- and 16-year-olds.

I remember the end of the school year when Diversity Day was celebrated and I saw the faces I had been hearing from for the past few months. People laughing and conversing face to face was something I missed. We all probably wanted normalcy back. Luckily, it wasn’t long until our dream came true.

Junior Year

Finally, we were back in a universe where the school was our home again. But there were only reminiscent tastes of the first timeline in “Junior Year.” Now, we were forced into the roles of upperclassmen, whom younger grades were supposed to look up to – but with underdeveloped brains due to online learning. With this universe came new challenges, new responsibilities, but most importantly, refreshingly fun experiences.

Junior year was definitely a highlight, at least for me. Seeing my friends again and developing bonds with teachers felt so nice after a year of isolation. Performing in the school musical, dancing at Diversity Day, and participating in our grade’s well-deserved Morrow Madness win made me and many others feel like high schoolers again, and at times I wished the past two years had this much bliss.

Senior Year

And here we are, in “Senior Year.” Like the last universe, this one is at school, but it feels like a different world considering the number of changes that have occurred. A new schedule, new administration, new teachers, and new rules changed how our daily life would look.

Despite these challenges, our class persevered and went beyond what we were expected to do. I’m proud of how much we have accomplished despite the obstacles. For instance, our football games have never been livelier, our clubs have never been more engaged, and our school rediscovered our identity after isolation. Of course, we have our ups and downs, but we should be proud of what we have achieved as a class, especially considering the many universes we traveled to get here. So, let us, as the Class of 2023, finish our high school careers with our heads held high and hope that we don’t have to mess with the multiverse anymore.