Upperclassmen reflect on an unexpected school year
After spending the majority of their high school time at North Campus, juniors and seniors are now forced to graduate from a temporary campus in Mendota Heights. Students reacted in different ways. Some were able to deal with the change easier than others. However most of the students are learning from this experience and are benefitting in different ways.
“The news that we weren’t going to be able to graduate from North was alarming and disappointing,” said junior Nick Wong. “It was overall just tough for me.”
Wong gets emotional when talking about the subject knowing that he will most likely never be able to attend North Campus again.
“For me it seems unrealistic that the school will be ready for us to attend again,” said Wong.
Many students like senior Nathan Radtke couldn’t quite believe when the explosion happened. “When I first heard about the school being gone, I didn’t fully comprehend the implications of it. I didn’t realize how many aspects of North Campus will be nearly impossible to recreate until the school year started,” he said.
When he was an underclassmen, Radtke noticed all of the traditions held by the seniors at North Campus. “I always looked forward to senior hallway, a two week spring break, or the many other privileges, and I knew that I would have to cope with the fact that I wouldn’t be receiving these traditions, but would have to start new ones.”
Students and faculty had high expectations for the temporary school location. “Going into this year I had high hopes for a successful year, and I still do, though it will be hard never spending another school day at north,” said Radtke.
“It has been far more difficult, in my opinion, to do homework at Mendota Campus, than at North. Due to the tighter spaces, and lack of supplementary quiet spaces, it has been hard to accomplish work at school, though now I have adapted to be more resistant to the distractions around me and have developed a more disciplined work schedule at home.”
Overall, academics for most students have remained relatively constant, even through the changes of scenery. “I’m personally doing the same academically but the teachers are more compassionate this year,” said junior Annika Fedje Johnson. “Along with that I’ve learned not to take anything for granted and how important having a strong community like Minnehaha is.”
Fedje Johnson feels that the junior class as a whole is very upset about the situation because they still think of north as their home rather than the mendota campus.On the senior side, Radtke got the impression that the senior class as a whole were disappointed in their lack of time at the North campus.
“Without preparation, we lost our believed to be, senior home. Since freshmen, we pictured ourselves in the shoes of the seniors, and we looked forward to that day. Though, we lost North, our class hasn’t lost the camaraderie which has formed over the past years. We still have the same dynamic throughout the class, and though we have lost many sought after privileges, we continue to push on towards our graduation day. Though our surroundings are different, we are all still the same as before, and will continue on as such.”
Many student that experienced the change miss the gym that they spent a majority of their free time in.
“I think the biggest change is the lack of activities to do at Mendota Campus,” said Radtke. “Due to it being about a third of the size, it is understandable that the amount of available activities has significantly decreased in size. The gym held a vast majority of the activities available, as there was space to hang out with my buddies and do homework frantically before class or play basketball/soccer if I happened to plan ahead.” Radtke enjoyed the variety of free time activities available at the North campus, which isn’t currently available at the Mendota campus.
For some, it wasn’t that big of a change. Some that have transferred to Minnehaha and have spent little time at the north campus weren’t quite as affected by the event.
“I’ve only been here since my sophomore year, the change was different but it wasn’t too bad for me,” said senior LJ Linton. “The biggest change for me was the change in size, going from a relatively large campus to a small one was different.”
After moving to Minnesota his sophomore year, Linton has attended three different school during his high school time. “It has been stressful but beneficial for me,” said Linton. “It has taught me how to deal with change better than before.”