Sean Lake who graduated in 2018 remembers High School as an enjoyable time for him. Lake played baseball all four years and football for two and threw shot put for one. He mentions how he wasn’t an honor student but did pretty well in school. During high school he made a lot of friends and tried new things. Overall, it was pretty enjoyable.
His favorite moment was going to the Skills USA competition in Bangor for Law Enforcement. Even though he didn’t win the competition or go on in Law Enforcement as a career, he is grateful and it was a fun get away with a lot of his friends even from other schools.
Lake regrets not trying more things sooner, and not taking full advantage of all the activities and clubs people could join.
He attended the University of Maine Orono for two years after high school and then transferred to Central Maine Community College for a year when Covid hit. “Covid really affected how I approached college. I transferred because it was safer to do online classes from home. It caused me to feel a lot more disengaged. I didn’t feel like it was conducive to my learning style and I have not graduated, and I’m not currently enrolled in classes.”
Carolyn Adams, a 2020 grad tells me that her high school experience was a very telling time. “There were lots of ups and downs, but I was able to find my love and passion for photography and art through high school.”
For most people prom is a huge night and for Adams that is no different as that is a night that she still tells people about as she told me “I felt like a princess.”
She tells me how she regrets not trying harder in high school. At the beginning of her freshman year, she told herself that she would be in the top ten of her class. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Her and all her teachers knew she could’ve done it if she had really just given it her all.
Adams was originally going to Italy for fashion in the fall 2020 but with the uncertainty of covid she decided to take a few years off and work. “Those few years took a lot out of me and made me feel like I had no direction, especially after many accomplishments and successes in high school” She is currently in cosmetology school, and she loves it so much.
Graduating in 2020 meant that the end of her senior year cut short. When asked how that made her feel she mentions how she was honestly really relieved. “I think I was just so ready to graduate. But not having a real graduation was really upsetting.”
Mo Gosselin graduated in 2019 and when thinking about high school believes that it was probably the average high school experience for anyone else. “I had a small group of friends, had my favorite teachers, and struggled here and there.” She moved to Lewiston in 8th grade, coming from a school with a total of 81 kids, which made Lewiston feel like a whole city. She suffers from severe social anxiety, so she often stuck to herself and avoided talking to people. She had a hard time adjusting to such a drastic environment, but she made the most of it with the friends she made and overall enjoyed high school.
The moments that she cherished most are when she was able to connect with certain teachers.
“It is encouraging when you create a second family with your teachers and they see more to you than the shy girl in the back of class” Her photography teacher is the one who encouraged her to go to school for something art related, now Gosselin goes to the same college her teacher did.
One thing that Gosselin regrets is not doing more extracurricular activities. She spent most of my time focused on her academics, making sure she was able to get good grades so she could further my education post Lewiston High School.
“My first year of college was both my best and my worst year I’ve endured. I went to school out of state so I could become less dependent on my family and experience a different lifestyle.” Goselin mentions. As a result, she was putting herself out of her comfort zone, trying new things, and socializing more. “Most people struggle with the adjustment from high school to college, and I certainly was one of them.” She tells me that while her social life was dramatically different and improved, her academic life was not very good. She ended my first semester with a 1.8 average on the 1-4 scale. Very unlike the A student that she was in high school. When covid hit everything went online and all students went home. Her social life was confined to her room but on the bright side her grades did improve. When classes resumed the following fall semester, half were online with very little in person lectures. If you had a lab-based class that was usually the only reason you went on campus. They had to get tested every week and complete a daily health screen. She believes the quality in her education decreased when covid hit. “It made us lazy, and most professors simplified assignments.” As a photojournalism major, Covid impacted them greatly. Their entire education is based on their experience out in the community, documenting people’s lives every day. She mentions that “wearing masks with our subjects and keeping distance from them created a barrier in our storytelling.” It created technical challenges as well. But they made it work. She is currently in her 4th year of school and her education is just now starting to feel like it did her first semester of college pre covid. Gosselin is thankful she will be able to experience a graduation this May to celebrate the last two years of pandemic learning online and all students went home. Her social life was confined to her room but on the bright side her grades did improve. When classes resumed the following fall semester, half were online with very little in person lectures. If you had a lab-based class that was usually the only reason you went on campus. They had to get tested every week and complete a daily health screen. She believes the quality in her education decreased when covid hit. “It made us lazy, and most professors simplified assignments.” As a photojournalism major, Covid impacted them greatly. Their entire education is based on their experience out in the community, documenting people’s lives every day. She mentions that “wearing masks with our subjects and keeping distance from them created a barrier in our storytelling.” It created technical challenges as well. But they made it work. She is currently in her 4th year of school and her education is just now starting to feel like it did her first semester of college pre covid. Gosselin is thankful she will be able to experience a graduation this May to celebrate the last two years of pandemic learning.
Lou Lea, a 2019 graduate‘s favorite moment in high school was when she presented her Titanic project for history during her junior year. She regrets not doing any sports and getting herself out there. Since graduation she has since moved to Florida, where she got her bartending license and had her first child.
Christiane Chasse who graduated in 2019 tells me that high school was stressful but fun with lots of ups and downs. Hockey at LHS is huge and arguably the biggest thing that the school has to offer and for Chasse her favorite moment was watching the boy’s hockey team win states. While she enjoyed watching the men win states, she regrets not playing hockey herself. She tells me that “College was fun with lots of homework and stress with school, but I loved my ability to do what I wanted to do independently.”
Veda Leclerc who graduated in 2020 remembers high school as being fun where she made a lot of good memories with friends, but towards the end of high school it got boring, and she just wanted to graduate. Leclerc looks back to her freshman year, where she became best friends with an exchange student. She looks back to her high school days and wished she took more free college courses. She has attended college at St Michael’s College, where her entire first year was remote which made it hard to make friends and get a good education. As a 2020 grad Leclerc had her senior year cut short and looks back at when she heard the news about it. “It was frustrating because our prom, graduation, and other senior activities were thrown out the window. I feel like I never got a chance to say bye to everyone.”
Jenna Morin, a 2020 graduate, describes high school as so much fun up until Covid hit. Covid caused her class to have to leave in the middle of their senior year. She enjoyed every second of her time in high school and mentions “I would go back and redo all of it in a heartbeat”. High school holds some of her favorite memories with friends that she made back in kindergarten and hope to be friends with for a lifetime. Playing sports with her friends were her favorite moments in high school. She mentions that “the bus rides to games after school, practicing together every single day, supporting each other on the field and learning how to be a leader on and off the field has really benefited me in college so far.” She regrets not having more confidence in high school. She was always too scared of failing, which held her back from participating in certain activities such as pep rallies where she was scared to fail or embarrass herself in front of others. Now that she is almost done with college, she has learned that none of that matters at all in life, and she learned to anticipate failure as it demonstrates growth. Morin is currently a junior in college and Covid has affected every aspect of it. She started school in the fall of 2020 when the pandemic was at its worst. She spent her entire freshman year in a dorm room alone, with mostly online classes. Morin mentions that “It was lonely, and I missed out on an entire year with friends that I have recently made.” Knowing that everyone has experienced such a lonely and difficult freshman year and realizing that they could have been friends this entire time had it not been for Covid. Her graduation was in their cars at an airport and when she walked across the stage wearing a mask and not being able to hug or even talk to any of her peers who had gone through the past 12 years of schooling with me, “l was sad that it had to end that way.”
Jess Gauthier, a 2019 graduate, tells me that “I’m not going to lie; I hated high school. Most of the work was boring and stressful. Socially, I stayed to myself aside from my friend group. However, I definitely had a lot of fun and I made some wonderful memories. That being said, if given the opportunity, I would most definitely not go back.” Gauthier played field hockey, and one of her favorite moments was a practice, where they were playing a game where certain groups of people would go and fight for the ball and try to score. For example, the coach would say everyone who’s favorite color is green go, and then only those players with green as their favorite color would play the game. She tells me that one prompt was everyone who has a parent in the military. She was the only player that qualified. All of her teammates cheered for her and, as a freshman, she ended up scoring on our senior varsity goalie. She regrets not making more memories with her friends. She was focused on doing good at school and work, and she wished she had allowed herself to have more fun. She is currently three years into a four-year degree. Covid has definitely affected her college experience. Three semesters were done entirely online, whether that be zooming for class meetings or completely asynchronous. She is currently teaching, and she acknowledges teaching is definitely still affected by Covid. “I think college as a whole has become much more flexible. I’m able to take all of my classes online asynchronously. Even classes that have live meetings I can take online via delayed viewing, which is watching a recording of the lecture and posting in a discussion forum about it.”