Class of ’18 has found its way through ground-breaking high school years
The year 2000: a new decade, century, millenium and the year of the Dragon. 2000 saw the beginning to a new generation — the ones who live in the complexity of being too young to be “millenials” and too old for the “Generation Z.”
We are not quite the ones as touched by tech as kids born in the 2010s, but we are also not 90s kids we often claim to be — no matter if you were born in November of ‘99.
The Class of 2018 were the 2000 babies who celebrated their first birthdays on the heels of 9/11, who lived through the five deadliest mass shootings in the our nation’s history, and the ones who can remember seeing the first African-American president get elected as 2008 came to a close.
Here we are now, the generation of trials and tribulations, of loss and of fighting back. The Class of 2018 will be known just as much as the change makers of America, as the ones immortalized by their achievements here at PHS. Our time as Pumas is coming to a close, but we face graduation as one of the most influential in Perry’s history.
It was our class who led the football team to their first state appearance, it was our class of strong female athletes who took the school’s first state banner for badminton, it was our class who sweeps competitions for DECA, fine arts, culinary, and much more. This is our legacy, but this was not always the case.
In 2014, our class took to campus as the largest freshman class ever. We went to the Link Crew Puma Days, got our schedules, and faced the enormous hallways of the one and only, Perry High School. We were 14 then. We could not drive, and we could barely see PG-13 movies by ourselves.
Then we moved on up to sophomore year. Some of us took our very first AP class, some of us started driving, and others were still getting lost in the hallways. The limbo of still being an underclassman, but not quite a freshman gave sophomore year that awkward aura everyone remembers vividly.
Then we were juniors. We endured standardized tests, AP tests, our first true dose of KBATs, and we went to our first prom. Our upperclassman status was finally validated.
And then what seemed five minutes later, we became seniors. The class of 2018, the same people who walked onto campus four years earlier, are graduating.
We attended our last football game this year. However, this was a historic football game. A football game where the Perry Pumas went to the state dance for the first time, securing a second place trophy. The same team that way back in their freshman year were the first PHS football team to go undefeated.
To the Class of 2018, you have seen unimaginable loss, lived through moments that will fill history books in the coming years, and risen up as an innovative, resilient, and hopeful group. We are standing before the world as the ones who will challenge the status quo. We are the ones who will work tirelessly to leave this world better than it was when it was handed to us. We are the Class of 2018, and we should be proud of that. Now let’s go do big things.