Dear Woodside students,
There are very few times throughout the school year when I have the opportunity to address Woodside’s student body as a whole. However, in light of both recent and ongoing events, I felt it appropriate.
To say this past week has been a shock to the system would be a gross understatement. I’m sure many of you can relate to the confusion caused by initially being told one thing, only to find out the next day that what you were told is false, or at the very least, uncertain. This state of confusion is affecting us all— and taking place in virtually every community across the globe. I greatly appreciate Woodside’s administration, the Paw Print, and our teachers, communicating information to us as soon as it became available so as to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible during this very uncertain time in both our school and nation’s history.
I know many of you are hurting as a result of this week’s endless slew of cancellations, postponements, and everything in between. I myself know that a crucial aspect of the teenage experience is getting to participate in activities outside of the classroom. We devote long hours, make sacrifices, and oftentimes push ourselves to the limit both emotionally and physically, all in an attempt to express our passions to their fullest potential.
I feel particularly for seniors that are members of any of Woodside’s organized teams or events who have suffered this week knowing that an aspiration they have been building towards has all of a sudden been stripped away, or at least put on pause for the time being. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.
With that being said, I also urge the members of our student body to consider the severity of the impact this virus has on the everyday lives of families, a part of our very own Woodside community, whose livelihoods depend on jobs in the service industry, unsalaried payroll, access to school meals, etc. I say this because I know how easy it is to use humor to distract from unfortunate or uncomfortable situations. While I hope our lives over the next few weeks aren’t completely consumed by negativity, I ask everyone to be conscientious of the greater picture, which includes the negative impact the cancellation of school, work, and large events will have on the very people you walk the halls with everyday. A little extra kindness can go a long way.
Lastly, to the class of 2020, this situation is unique to us. Before embarking on our last year of high school, we inevitably set expectations. Expectations that included chanting the loudest at rallies, cheering on Woodside during sporting events for the last time as a student, storming through the quad with our class flag waving proudly, celebrating senior nights for all our athletes and band members, standing up to applaud our friends during curtain call of the musical, asking out or being asked out to prom… the list goes on and on. Some of these expectations were met, while others, depending on future circumstances, may or may not be.
A lot of us feel as though the infamous “second-semester senior” experience was stolen from us. As much as we like to complain about going to school, it was where we got to see our friends, joke around with teachers who genuinely care about us, and —everyone’s least favorite to acknowledge— learn.
Despite the fact our second semester isn’t going according to plan, I hope that we can still reflect on the positive moments from the year thus far and the ones still to come. We are a genuinely awesome group of people, and I can say with total confidence that we will make the best of the remaining school year no matter how much time we have left when we return to campus.
If you have made it this far, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this. My goal was to try to provide a sense of optimism during this difficult time, specifically from the point of view of a student.
We will get through this, and we will hopefully emerge as a stronger community than we were before.
Stay wild Wildcats.
—Adrienne Evans ‘19-’20 President of the Board of Student Affairs (BOSA)