The Big Finale


Essence Knighten-EL
Salutatorian, Class of 2021

Essence Knighten-EL, Staff Writer

As the school year comes to a conclusion, there is an unsurprising amount of action going on. With students and staff alike preparing for finals, AP exams, and seniors getting ready for prom and graduation, the classrooms–albeit a bit empty–and the screens are still bustling with activity. Coming up on the final weeks of school, and high school as a whole, is becoming a bit of a bitter sweet moment. As I recognize that we seniors will be gone in a mere two to three weeks, I can look back on the plethora of memories I have made over the past four years of my high school career. 

Walking into the school for what will be the last time, reminds me of the first time I walked into this building as a freshmen. Walking into the first assembly that was held, I walked into the main gym knowing only a few people there. I remember deliberately wanting to sit next to my best friend and wanting to sit in the top balcony but couldn’t because that was for the juniors and seniors. The friends that I have made during these years, whether we met through the classes we had or from the pep rallies and games that we attended at one point, as well as the few friends that I have lost, these people–these memories are what I will hold on to for possibly the rest of my life.

There have already been some amazing life changing moments. I have been accepted into one of the best engineering colleges in the country, and have become an auntie to one of the most amazing little girls I’ve ever gotten the chance to know. Also, I have been one of the thousands of people to live through a global pandemic. Ever since Covid-19 arose, things have been different, to say the least. We all have had to overcome challenging obstacles during the school year.  However, I am so grateful and I thank God that I was able to have even ¾ of the high school experience my first three years. 

Being a Hawk has granted me the opportunity to make many memories. A few of my favorite memories from Hillcrest would have to be the powderpuff games. It was especially entertaining seeing the football and basketball players dressed up in the cheerleaders’ uniforms and doing their routines. The Blue & White games were also extremely entertaining because those were seen as the kick off for the basketball season. It also helps that for the girls basketball team this year the class of ‘21 won every game, but that’s neither here nor there.

Another amazing memory that I have was from last year. One day a couple of my friends and I were just coming out of the gym, and as we were walking down the hallway to the locker room, one of them started recording. There was absolutely no music playing, but we all just started dancing. It wasn’t the regular normal dancing, no, we were dancing and acting like complete loons. This is one of my favorite memories because we were able to just let loose, be ourselves and have fun.

The bonfires were also a wonderful experience. We didn’t need money, just a canned good to help out with feeding those in need. The music was blasting, the fire was crackling, and we were just having fun and being free.

Hopefully in the next year or two, the incoming students will also be able to experience those kinds of moments and make the memories that those of the class of 2021 have.

As I said before, these last few weeks are becoming bittersweet. It’s like I’m getting ready to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new.

With that being said, though, it’s good to be a Hawk.