The raw excitement on the first day of school has always been an unmatched enthusiasm. Hearing the bus rumble by my house still renders me, a student with a notorious past of missing the bus, absolutely panic-stricken. Despite obvious differences in this school year, those same feelings of first-day anxieties and eagerness were a welcome familiarity amongst an otherwise uncertain week.

I could finally reactivate the three school-morning alarms on my phone, much to the disturbance of an entirely different sleep schedule that I had formed during the summer; I like to consider my first two alarms as mere suggestions to begin to wake up, whereas the third alarm is my last ditch effort. Regardless, I have genuinely never woken up quicker than the first day of senior year. My parents insisted that I come to the bottom of the driveway to take pictures in front of my “Class of 2021” senior sign — the kind of photos that will later inundate Facebook pages as sentimental parents lament their child’s last first-day.

I had a ceremonious breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast, which shone in comparison to my typical breakfast of a handful of berries and coffee while I dash out the door. It was always a scramble for punctuality last year once I began driving (which oftentimes resulted in many walks-of-shame to class with a yellow tardy pass in hand). However, this year’s commute from my bed to my desk is relatively tardy-proof.

Unfortunately, I discovered three minutes before class that my audio decided to give out, so I am now sporting my wireless Airpods in every virtual class these days. The fatal flaw is when the earbuds start to die halfway through the day, however a friend taught me a clever trick of wearing one earbud while the other charges, and vice versa — it is a brutal cycle. Nonetheless, all of my digital struggles pale in comparison to the gratification of finally seeing my classmates on miniature little screens.

My school day commenced with my Link Crew: a group of 10 freshmen which I have the privilege of guiding through their first year at Wilton High School. And I must say, the Class of 2024 is built of sheer resilience. Their patience and willingness to adjust to high school amidst distance learning, hybrid schedules, and a new school platform is astounding.

Speaking of the new school platform, I’m sure if you ask any upperclassman, he or she will agree in mourning the loss of our beloved Google Classroom. It was a much more organized, streamlined platform to access and manage assignments with their due dates. However, just as we have adapted to remote learning, I am sure that the new platform, Schoology, will grow on us with time.

Finally, staying true to my optimistic character, I want to emphasize the silver lining in our circumstances. The school and community have worked tirelessly to create a safe and efficient learning environment, and for that I commend them. Class of 2021 can walk the halls of Wilton High School for one last year; we can create our final memories on the stage, prepare ourselves for college in the classrooms, and make our last plays on the fields.

While we might not be sprawled out in the Jungle, or letting our textbooks spill out of our decorated lockers in the “H,” I am positive that the pure spirit of our class will overcome adversity and celebrate our finite time left together in Wilton. And as far as the hybrid schedule, I hope to see my fellow Cohort A’s around the halls!

Libby Connolly is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with three classmates.