Senior Rewind: Looking back at the last four years – what history has been made?

In 2016, our seniors began walking the halls of the castle. With their high school years coming to an end, we thought we should remember the history made throughout each year of their high school career. 

As the new Toppers graduated middle school, the Summer Olympics rolled around, taking place in Rio de Janeiro. Michael Phelps brought back his twenty-third medal, and Simone Biles made her Olympic debut, winning four medals.

That same summer, Nintendo came out with their app, Pokémon Go. It swept the nation, going viral the very first day of being on the app store. Within the same timeframe, Hamilton scored eleven Tony awards for its moving story of one of America’s founding fathers.

As the freshmen walked into their first days at West, they got to experience the newly built science wing. As the school year continued, the Cubs won the World Series beating the Cleveland Indians. This was the first World Series that Cubs fans could watch on TV, since their last appearance in the championship was made in 1908.

Soon after, Donald Trump won the Presidential Election in November of 2016. With a new year beginning, the second semester rolled around for the freshman Hilltoppers. President Donald Trump was inaugurated into office on the twentieth of January in 2017, making him our forty fifth President in Congress. 

Three of West’s spring sports including boy’s gymnastics, girl’s track and field, and boy’s volleyball won state titles at the 2017 IHSA championships. Their freshman year came to an end and summer began. 

The hit horror TV series Stranger Things aired in July, causing a world-wide craze. Slowly summer came to an end and the sophomores were buckling down for their second year in the castle.

A solar eclipse made an appearance across the US within the first days of school. Students flooded both Duchon and Memorial Field to view the jaw-dropping sight. The school year continued with tragedy as three category four hurricanes hit the nation in August and ended in October. The 2017 hurricane season can be noted as one of the worst hurricane seasons due to the quarter-trillion dollars damage it left the states in.

In October the #MeToo movement gained exponential following due to sexual abuse allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. People used #MeToo to inspire all women to share their story in order to overcome the stigma surrounding stories of sexual abuse.

And to end 2017, Taylor Swift released her Reputation album, debuting a new Taylor the nation had never seen before.

2018 kicked off with the winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, where both Koreas marched as one unified team but competed as separate teams. The US women’s hockey team finally took home gold since their last win in 1998. 17 year-old Red Gerrard took home USA’s first gold medal in the Men’s slopestyle, being the youngest American to ever win a gold medal.

The revolutionary film Black Panther hit the screens in February, a milestone in cinematic history. The film highlighted what it meant to be African American in today’s society, while demonstrating ideas about race and identity.

More cultural milestones were made as Coachella rolled around in April. Beyoncé headlined Coachella, making history as the first African American woman to headline Coachella. It is with no surprise she gave a performance of a lifetime. She reinvented her set with a marching band and intricate choreography.

Mid-summer that year, wildfires raged across California until the start of junior year in August. On August 4th, 2018, California declared a national disaster due to the extensive damage done to the northern part of the state. The 2018 wildfire season was declared to be California’s worst season because of the 7,500 fires which burned across the state.

Shortly after in September, Dr. Christine Blasey took the stand against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Blasey alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party. This case made yet another rise in the #MeToo movement. 

To round out the year another blockbuster hit the cinema. A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, took the nation by storm. It has won six awards, some including Critics choice movie award for best actress and the MTV Movie and TV best performance in a movie, for its beautiful story of a tragic heartbreak.

Second semester of junior year began with the Grammy awards on February 10th. Billie Eilish made Grammy history being nominated in all four of the top categories as the youngest artist. Although her age is impressive, it is hard for an artist to be nominated for all four top name awards in the same year. She took home five Grammys in the 2019 awards show.

Two months later the publication of the college admissions scandal took place in March 2019. 53 people were accused of paying top dollar to get their children enrolled in big name colleges. Top business leaders such as William E. McGlashan Jr., and high profile actors and actresses such as Lori Loughlin were accused.

Not to mention in March The Jonas Brothers reunited, causing childhood fans to go crazy. They released their first reunited single Cool on April 5, leading to their album drop in June.

A fire then blazed within a beloved landmark in Paris. On April fifteenth The Notre Dame fire blazed for nine hours, leaving only the altar, two pipe organs, and the thirteenth century rose windows. Although the Cathedral has not yet been rebuilt, it is planned to begin construction in 2021.

Eleven days later, Avengers: Endgame, hit screens across the nation on April 26th. In the first weekend in North America, the film racked up $358 million. It was deemed a smash hit.

The US women’s soccer team brought home the Fifa World Cup on July 7th. The team’s win finally brought attention to social issues which needed to be addressed, including equal pay rights and civil rights.

August 14th was marked as the last first day in the castle for the seniors. The football team had an outstanding 2019 season winning 10 games and losing only one, cutting their road to state short. December of 2019, the House of Representatives approved articles of impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

And that concluded the Seniors’ last first semester on the hill. As the second semester of senior year kicked off, the Senate then voted to acquit President Trump of both charges in February.

The first death of coronavirus was recorded in China on January 11th. Shortly after, the first case was recorded in Washington on February 29 from a man who returned to the states from China. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant along with his daughter Gigi passed away in a tragic helicopter crash on January 26. On board were seven friends of the Bryant Family on their way to a basketball practice.

During March, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic having spread to over 100 countries. Soon after, the DOW Jones Industrial Average dropped dramatically from coronavirus. This was the first dramatic drop since 1987. New York became the number one case holder for COVID-19 cases among all countries on April 10.

Throughout the pandemic, the seniors had to switch to virtual learning classrooms from home, eventually permanently. Although the seniors will miss the remainder of their senior year in the castle, there are many things that they are grateful for.

Senior Anna Sear recounts her years at West as: “one word: unforgettable.”  She will never forget “getting close with new people” her freshman year, or “tie-dying in Mr. Kim’s chemistry class.” From her junior year she remembers “winning the Glenbard West Volleyball Tournament” and growing a tight-knit bond with her teammates. And finally as a senior, she will never be able to erase the connection of “getting closer as a senior class.” Her advice to freshmen would be to “enjoy what comes with every year of high school.  As cheesy as it sounds, it does go by so fast so truly make the most of each year.” She advises freshmen to get involved in the activities that West has to offer.

Senior Chloe Karp agrees that you should “get to know the people in your classes,” saying her school friends are the most supportive and caring friends she’s made in the halls of West. She can recount her days competing in the State series for Forensics and every school dance she attended.

Another Senior, Jess Csvengross, remembers her high school years as “crazy, exciting, and fast.” She recommends, “Not [to] overthink high school, just be yourself and you will thrive. Remember to have fun and not take it too seriously.”

Lucy Lawerence, senior, has countless memories from West. Her art was featured within West’s art show and she remembers it to be one of the best experiences of her life. Whenever the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” plays, she will remember running up and down the bleachers on Duchon field as the football team shook the other team’s hands. She advises freshmen to “take advantage of the unique courses West has to offer.”

The graduating seniors may not have had the ending they expected, but they did experience the education of a lifetime. Throughout every year of high school, they were thrown obstacles but became a stronger class through it. 

From the rest of Glenbard West, we will all truly miss your energetic atmosphere you created at West. Always remember, Go Hilltoppers!