- May 20, 2022
By Erin Budd and Emily Onoyan
The seniors of this year set a path for students for years to come. Throughout the last couple of years, students have struggled and become lost within the walls of Olympia because of the pandemic. This year, the Class of 2022 led by example and gave new students a sweet taste of that Titan pride they did not know they were missing. Giving students something to look forward to, the Class of 2022 assembled old traditions while also creating new ones. Without them, the future may have stayed lost; lacking the sweet nectar one can only receive through the sip of high school spirit.
Excluding the Class of 2022, none of the students at Olympia experienced a full year of high school normalcy before this year. The first year of the current junior class was cut short, sophomores of this year entered high school online, and freshmen entered this year only ever knowing middle school behind a screen. Because they were the only ones left to lead the way, this year’s seniors used their final year as an opportunity to show students what it truly means to be a Titan.
“Our class is full of diverse people,” senior Olivia Rutledge said. “Some people you get to know, and some you may one day forget. This year truly has been like no other and has given me the opportunity to connect, when that had previously been stripped away. I am so happy I was able to be surrounded by peers this final year of high school. I loved this year more than any other.”
Students this year vivaciously emerged from a stagnant period and showed the world the full extent of youth resilience. Titans came together stronger than before and rejoiced in their return. Immense pride at football games, support for the arts, appreciation of academics and more became prevalent in the student body.
“I think we brought back Titan pride in a strong statement at the beginning of the school year, evident in our first football game,” senior Samuel Teixeira said. “After-school spirit was at an all-time low during COVID. Our comeback showed that we had not lost our spirit even through that rough patch. Lots of kids participated in theme days and made sure to attend events.”
When students were presented with the opportunity to attend events, what they may have passed up before became more important to them. Overall, everyone learned to appreciate and take advantage of the privileges we previously took for granted.
This year is the year of change for students. For the first time since freshman year, the Class of 2022 will have the opportunity to break out their Sharpies and sign yearbooks. The vacant pages yielded from the lack of contact in previous years no longer have room to prosper. Students have learned this era of re-emergence is not something to be afraid of but rather something to be excited about. This time in our lives is when we will have the opportunity to take the reins and create new traditions while admiring the old.
One event we introduced this year was the Senior Sunrise. This was an event aimed to symbolize the notion of re-emergence by celebrating the beginning of the end. Students gathered bright and early on the football field together and canvassed the green with blankets to lay with friends and anticipate the possibilities of our future at Olympia and life in general. As the seniors close the year with Senior Drive Out, they will drive out remembering the academics, athletics, arts and extracurriculars they spent the past four years growing up in.
The time spent inside this school seems like a universally shared experience, when really every Titan has a unique story of how their flame ignited. Those dreams that were once lost or abandoned because of the pandemic began to shine once again. Olympia was here, for those seniors, to guide them along the journey out of the darkness. Whether it was playing at an orchestra concert, playing a role in Olympia’s 20th anniversary show, becoming Olympia basketball districts or supporting the football team under the Friday night life, we are all here on this campus for one purpose: to illuminate.