Madeline’s Senior Farewell Column: An Experience Like No Other


Madeline Tiedt

Madeline Tiedt will be attending Purdue University next school year.

Madeline Tiedt, Features Editor

High school is an experience like no other. For me, I knew from the start that I wanted to be a part of the Stargazer. I loved to write (I still do as a matter of fact), and I thought that this club would be a good fit for me as I walked around Future Freshman night, browsing the clubs that North offered. Four years later, here I am. 

Being a part of the Stargazer staff has shaped the entirety of my four years at North. Because of my time on the staff, I’ve been able to cover numerous events happening at school, better my writing skills, compete in various writing competitions and see my writing get published monthly which is super cool. I am beyond grateful for the time I’ve spent with this group. They’ve helped me to constantly improve my writing and pushed me to do my best. They are like a second family to me. 

Overall, I would describe my time in high school as exceptional. As someone who loves to learn, I naturally love school. However, my teachers are what made school that much better. They went beyond the call of duty by not only teaching us, but making things fun and engaging. My teachers who made me excited to learn through their own passion for the subject, I thank you. I attribute my love of learning to you. I am so grateful for all my teachers have done for me, even during the middle of a pandemic.

COVID-19 definitely threw a wrench into my high school experience. In the blink of an eye, I went from seeing classmates and teachers every single day, to seeing them one final time, if I was lucky, in a farewell Zoom. What seemed like a harmless extension of spring break turned into an uncertain nightmare. That was the ending to my third year of high school. No prom, no goodbyes, no closure.

Thankfully, this year was different. Though we started off fully remote, I got to see everyone every day through a screen. The synchronous classes, which were a bit weird at first I will admit, offered some sense of normalcy. It began to feel like real school again.

I was beyond elated when I heard that we could come back to school with the hybrid model. I would be able to experience a semi-normal senior year of high school. Also, I genuinely missed interacting with my friends and teachers. Being online just wasn’t the same. 

I am so thankful for the steps that the school took to give me back the second half of my senior year. They have allowed me to experience important milestones like prom and graduation. Although they had to be modified to fit current guidelines, I still feel incredibly blessed to have been able to do these things because at the beginning of this year, I wasn’t even sure if and when I would be able to go into school again.

This year was really hard, trying to adapt to all of the new things being thrown at me. Applying to colleges was a whole other fiasco, as I couldn’t truly visit many colleges because they were also closed down due to COVID-19. Plus, navigating online learning in itself was also quite the challenge. However, despite all of these difficult things happening over a quarter of my time in high school, I know that I will be stronger for it. I feel as though I will be well prepared for whatever life may throw at me because this pandemic has taught me resilience. 

Despite it being such an interesting year to be a high schooler, I am still sad that my time at North has come to a close. I know that I will cherish all of the memories I’ve made here for years to come. In the words of Shakespeare, a man who happened to be a staple in my English education at North, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” And, while it’s very sad to leave, I know that this ending is only a stepping stone onto bigger and better things.