Abigail Hamman, a senior from Murray County Central High School, wrote this first-place essay for the SYTA Class of 2020 essay contest.
What was a favorite memory of your high school senior year? The answer to this question for many is probably their senior class trip.
I am a 2020 high school graduate. I graduated from a small class of fifty‐three students at Murray County Central High School in Slayton, Minnesota. Many of us grew up together from the first day we started kindergarten until they closed school in March 2020 due to the pandemic. I grew up in a small community; so senior class trips consist of going to our state capital, which is a three‐hour bus ride away, and spending the whole day together.
To many it may not seem like a huge class trip; but to our small class, it would have been like a big family gathering. We always heard stories of the fun memories upper classmen made while on their senior trip, and we were looking forward to these same experiences.
Scientists have proven that traveling is good for both body and mind! I believe some of the benefits of taking a class trip are creating memories, gathering together, relieving stress and improving friendships. We were all excited to go and spend this day together. The class trip would have included shopping at the Mall of America, spending time at a water park and then attending a Minnesota Twins home baseball game. It was a whole day dedicated to getting out of school and relaxing with your classmates one last time before graduation in May. The memories made and pictures taken would have been some of the best times of our senior year.
I’ve been told that I may not see some of my classmates ever again once we graduate, so I was really looking forward to our class trip. When they closed schools in Minnesota on March 17, 2020, the closure also canceled our senior class trip. A senior class trip is similar to a celebration after finishing a marathon; but we never got to cross the finish line together and feel that excitement. We missed out on one of the most important moments of our senior year.
Missing this trip made many of us unhappy and discouraged. We didn’t get this extra time together and we don’t have those fun stories to tell. We missed so much time together the last two months of our senior year, and the class trip is one experience that we will never get with our classmates. I hope the seniors in the future never have to experience the loss of a class trip because it’s very important for them to spend this valuable time together. Years from now when my classmates are asked, “What was a favorite memory of your senior year,” we will have to say the time we spent together before the pandemic hit.
Thank you for your consideration for this scholarship. The Class of 2020 Scholarship would be an honor to receive and would help me financially as I continue my education.