Wilton Warrior Words: First day back

Ryan McElroy

Ryan McElroy

Hearst / Connecticut Media

The first day back for a 75 percent in-person model at Wilton High School was easily one of the best days I have ever had at school. The excitement, and shared relief felt by every person in the building was reinvigorating as we walked into school ready to learn alongside classmates we had not seen since last March. As a senior I am obviously hopeful that all of the fun traditions, and annual events like prom, senior skip day, and graduation can happen, but there is something just as memorable to be gained from in-person classes. There is an indescribable magic to the everyday routine at school: the excitement of sharing a lunch, or free with friends, the random happiness found by running into an old friend, or teacher in the hallway, and the learning in a class that feels like a community that knows, and cares for one another. I cannot express how grateful I am for the persistence, and effort of Wilton High School staff, and all of my fellow students to make the school safe to attend this year.

Walking into my classes on that first day back last week reminded me of the best parts of our school: the people. Going to class, and striking up conversations with seniors that I have spent four years of high school learning, studying, and growing with was rejuvenating. To walk into a room, and see the majority of my class exhilarated to be in-person fed into my own energy, and made me feel incredible. If you had asked me at any other point in high school if I would be excited to wake up early on Monday morning for school, the answer would probably not be the enthusiastic “yes” I would give today. The small interactions of greeting a friend as you pass in the hallway, or partnering with classmates to discuss the assignment made my day infinitely better in a way that I had forgotten about. The return to more in-person classes felt like we had achieved something similar to last year, not just by having more people fill the hallways, but in the return of school spirit, and excitement to be at Wilton High School. Because of that, because of the experiences I know WHS students have had these past two weeks, I truly hope that this progress continues, and that we can safely stay in school.

As a senior, I know I do not have much time left to spend at Wilton High School. My fellow seniors, and I treasure the days we can spend with each other even more because of this. Although we will all certainly continue to enjoy our remaining time in Wilton before the summer, and college next fall, the unlimited potential for the underclassmen has been the most meaningful part of this return to school. Watching the freshmen make friendships that will last for years to come, the sophomores excitedly challenging themselves in their new classes, and the juniors succeeding the seniors as leaders of clubs, sports, and school spirit, I know that our school is returning to how it once was. And every day that I walk into the high school, I am so excited not just for myself, but for everyone who is there with me.