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Celebrating the Class of 2021

The arrival of the bittersweet moment of graduation, signaling the end of the high school career of the class of 2021. While the senior year of the class of 2021 was not all as to be expected, many still made it the best year of their high school careers. Bella Vista’s senior class engaged in Senior Balls, sunrises, sunsets, sporting events, and most of all, graduation.

As the 2020-2021 school year approached, seniors grew overwhelmed with the possibilities that their last years of high school may not be all that they had hoped and dreamed for. However, instead of focusing on the few unfortunate events, BV’s seniors chose to celebrate the great memories experienced all throughout high school. After speaking with several different seniors, many made great efforts to explore the highlights of high school. “BV has given me many friends that have changed my life…” expresses recent graduate Serena Shine. Shine shares that her best memory is being able to play in her senior softball season with all of her best friends. For many, playing a sport during their senior season was the last time they would ever play that sport competitively. The ability to participate in a sport in someone’s senior year is something that many seniors strive for. The overall high school experience impacted so many whether it allowed those to grow out of their shell, try new things, master a new skill, and even build outstanding relationships. “I think going to Bella Vista has given me more courage and confidence than ever before. I made some amazing friends, had four amazing years of laughs and way too many memories, and I found myself (Faith Bedingfield, 2021 Graduate). Despite the struggles and obstacles placed among high school students, high school gives everyone a chance to grow into the adults that they are to be in the near future.

All memories and successes would not be possible without the assistance of the great teachers and staff at BV. These two graduates expressed their relationships with the teachers Coach G and Mr. Lane, and how they affected their lives in different ways. Serena Shine describes how Coach G “was always able to put a smile on my face even if I was having a really bad day. He truly cared about me as a student and I am forever grateful for him.” The little gestures that teachers do to make sure their students are having a good day make more of an impact on students than they assume. Faith Bedingfield expresses that it was difficult for her to choose a favorite teacher, but if she had to, it would be Mr. Lane. In her experience, Mr. Lane impacted her life in a largely positive way. He created an environment in which she felt that she could go to him for everything. She also made a point to share that he would always talk about the strength his family had, giving her a new perspective. “I learned to appreciate everything, and take everything day by day” (Faith Bedingfield, 2021 Graduate). As graduates, both Shine and Bedingfield choose to remember the positive feelings they felt when in the presence of these teachers.

Senior year can be stressful, overwhelming, and even tedious at times, but through it all, the seniors left Bella Vista making their presence known. From online school to limited social interaction, the class of 2021 will always be known as one of the graduating classes to make it through difficult times. While we chose to celebrate the memorable parts of high school, several graduates identified at least one thing that they wish they could have done differently. “If I could change one thing about my BV career, I would go to more events and make friends with more people” (Natalie Rosefield, 2021 Graduate). Like Rosefield, most students wish that they would have become more involved in and around school, however, this “regret” is something that will follow them to do better in their further academic careers.

While the class of 2021 experienced a different senior year than envisioned, the difficulties and successes illustrated their story as high school students. High school has so much to offer to those students willing to take in all that it has. As many may be able to identify, students experience situations during these four years of a student’s life, that shape them into the people they will be.

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