Graduation Evokes Bittersweet Feelings for Seniors

As the school year comes to a close, members of the Class of 2022 have begun preparing for their graduation ceremony on June 10. This year’s commencement will feature several pre-pandemic traditions, such as taking a grade photo outdoors, participating in a final Meeting for Worship in the RLS Meeting Room and receiving diplomas on stage in the Athletic Center.

Seniors have mixed emotions about approaching graduation.

“There is the obvious sadness of leaving most of our closest friends and family,” senior Dylan Parikh said.

Senior Ava Partridge agreed, but felt that her connections with her friends would remain strong. “I know I will see my friends over the summer, so I don’t feel like I’m leaving them as much as I feel like I’m leaving behind a period of my life, which is mostly exciting but also a little scary,” she said.

Despite the differences, many traditions will remain the same as last year — graduates received their diplomas while walking across the stage, and all seniors took a photo together outside on the football field.

Senior Rahul Prakash recalls many senior traditions throughout the year, including senior Meeting for Worship, senior sunrise on the first day of school and senior skip day, as well as his personal favorite, running through the halls of the school on their last day.

Prakash predicts missing the “community most … I’ll really miss all of the things we did together, all of the [sports] games we went to.”

There is a healthy dose of uncertainty that comes with beginning again at the next level.

— Dylan Parikh '22

However, even after senior classes ended in April, seniors continued to have opportunities to spend time with each other. A key tradition for seniors is senior projects at the end of the year.

“Senior projects have been a great time to relax and hang out with people, and we’ve had more time to reflect on the last four years,” Partridge explained.

Graduation and senior activities represent an end to seniors’ high school journeys at Sidwell Friends.

“It’s hard because at graduation, it’s the last time you’re with your class. That’ll be really bitter sweet because I’ve been at Sidwell since Pre-K,” said Prakash.

“When thinking about major life milestones, like graduation, they always seem so far away, so it is hard to process that it is actually here,” Patton said.

“There is a healthy dose of uncertainty that comes with beginning again at the next level and leaving all the work you’ve established,” said Parikh.

Upper School Math Teacher Margaret Black explained that seniors are “a little sad at the thought that their experience as a Sidwell student is coming to an end.”

Students are approaching graduation with varying sentiments.

“I remember in eighth grade … seeing all these kids crowded in the courtyard taking photos in their college sweatshirts … I remember all the kids seeming so huge … and now it’s crazy that we’re the ones in the courtyard taking photos,” said Prakash.