Class of 2021 grad reflects on being part of history

‘The 2021 class has powered through a year like no other’

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 23, 2021

 Recent West Bloomfield High graduate Logan Lewis and the classes of 2020 and 2021 have gone through experiences other graduating classes can’t relate to.

Recent West Bloomfield High graduate Logan Lewis and the classes of 2020 and 2021 have gone through experiences other graduating classes can’t relate to.

Photo provided by Logan Lewis

 West Bloomfield Board of Education President Stacy Brickman recently stated, “The 2021 class has powered through a year like no other.”

West Bloomfield Board of Education President Stacy Brickman recently stated, “The 2021 class has powered through a year like no other.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 After enduring challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, West Bloomfield High School’s senior class was able to have a graduation ceremony June 6.

After enduring challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, West Bloomfield High School’s senior class was able to have a graduation ceremony June 6.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — In normal years, a senior getting to go to prom and attend a graduation ceremony wouldn’t be all that noteworthy.

But this year, just like last, hasn’t exactly been typical, as COVID-19 changed “normal” for people around the world.

After many high school seniors missed out on prom and a traditional graduation ceremony last year, some from the Class of 2021 got a chance to experience those milestones this year.

As a member of West Bloomfield High School’s 2021 graduating class, Logan Lewis was among them.

After enduring upheaval over the last year and a half or so due to COVID-19, Lewis got to be a part of two long-standing high school senior traditions — prom and a graduation ceremony.

But it may be hard to forget some of what she and her classmates didn’t get to experience.

“It’s definitely been different,” Lewis said. “Our football team won a state championship, and we couldn’t even be there to watch, so it was definitely hard. But the little events that we did get, we learned to appreciate a lot more.”

In a pre-pandemic world, some of those “little events” may not have seemed all that appealing.

“There were little events that we called ‘Senior Sunrise and Senior Sunset,’” Lewis said. “We came before school, we’d watch the sun rise, and then closer to the end of school, we watched the sunset together. If this was a normal senior year, I probably wouldn’t have gone, but because we got so much taken away from us, we learned to take the little traditions that we did get — to make them, and to celebrate them.”

Like her classmates, Lewis’ education has included a combination of online and in-person instruction during the pandemic.

As appealing as not having to go to school may have previously seemed, after actually getting to live that reality, Lewis said she didn’t enjoy it.

“You don’t (want to) wake up for school; that was such a normal thing to say until it actually got stripped away from us,” she said. “I think it was probably everybody’s dream to just be able to stay home and not have to go to school. We actually got to live that dream for almost a year, and we realized how much it really wasn’t what we wanted. I think it taught me to not take anything for granted and to appreciate being able to be with your friends at school.”

Despite the challenges the Class of 2021 has endured, Lewis has not forgotten about the class that came before hers.

“Compared to the Class of 2020 — they didn’t get a prom, and I know they were very sad about that,” she said. “And they had a drive-thru graduation. They missed out on a lot (of) the big stuff.”

High school can be an opportunity to learn some valuable life lessons in any year, but it may be hard to ever again match the uniqueness of lessons learned by the classes of 2020 and 2021.

“The 2021 class has powered through a year like no other,” West Bloomfield Board of Education President Stacy Brickman stated via email. “They showed tremendous resiliency through a year of adversity. Both 2020 and 2021 graduates learned quickly that life doesn’t always go as expected, that nothing is certain, but they do have all the skills needed to persevere.”

Students weren’t the only ones who adapted after the onset of the pandemic.

“Students and adults were faced with many challenges,” Brickman said in the email. “We learned that school doesn’t have to look the same for each student, and that the system can change and change quickly. We realized a lot about who we are individually as learners, and the importance of being flexible, resilient and persistent.”

Lewis shared some of her lessons learned during the pandemic.

“It’s brought a lot (of) people in our class together, because we had to make a group effort to still make our senior year a fun, enjoyable and memorable year,” she said. “I think it taught me to be resilient. It taught me to not focus on the negatives, and to take what you can and make it positive.”

Aside from getting to experience prom and graduation, Lewis can also count being recognized as West Bloomfield High’s Female Athlete of the Year as another positive in 2021.

She was part of the girls basketball team and earned a scholarship to play at the NCAA Division I level at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, which is located in Indiana, where she lived prior to moving to Michigan.

As for life since the onset of the pandemic, Lewis said she “wouldn’t change anything.”

“I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason,” she said. “I think I took for granted just being able to walk down the street and see people’s faces, or being able to be close to people in a close proximity and feel safe. Just very tiny things like that, I think, we all took for granted.”

Lewis has thought about what her senior year may have been like, had it not been for COVID-19.

“I feel like I would’ve just looked at it as just any other year and taken it for granted, instead of this year,” she said. “I took everything I was able to have, cherished it and made it positive.”

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