people we used to see every day with us. Some will maintain those friendships as best as possible following “graduation,” but we are all losing time that we could have spent together. Calling anything that comes following the senior’s last day a graduation feels wrong because that’s not what we’re getting. We’re going to get something so far from what we’ve all been waiting for that it doesn’t even feel like what we did matters. This situation has left everyone at a point where we don’t know what is going to happen in the future, leaving students with so many questions about how their future is going to be. Although we are unsure about the future, the past cannot be changed. I am one of the few students of the 2020 graduating class who has been here since first grade. Having grown up with all of the people in my class, the most meaningful part about high school was any time I got to spend time with my friends. My overall high school experience was good; I was involved in sports and clubs and got to have a great group of friends to spend these last four years with. The only thing that I would change would be the obvi- ous choice, to give this graduating class what we have been waiting for. Ten years from now, I hope I’ll still have the friends I’ve made, can support myself and that I am happy with the choices I’ve made. Ivan Stireman Parents/guardians: Shannon and John Stireman Growing up in Yellow Springs has been way too wild in way too many ways to be able to list them all here — but I’m going to try my hardest. I’ve lived in YS for as long as I can remember, and I’ve gone to school here the whole time. I’m not exactly sure how I would feel having grown up someplace different, but I’m glad I was here. This town was the perfect size for me. It was big enough that it wasn’t too boring and small enough to be relatively tight knit. Same with the school — if there were fewer people, it would have been too personal, too hard to move past things. On the other hand, if it was any larger, then I would never have gotten the chance to know my classmates and teachers like I do now. There would be too many people to really know them all, and people wouldn’t care as much. Teachers would have a much harder time having real engagements with students, and the student-versus-teacher mentality would have prevailed more. But I had a good balance. Not to say that I didn’t have issues with my town and school. The people who live here are made up of some of the most kind, understanding, fun, spontaneous, creative people I have and will ever meet. But we can also be ridiculously stubborn, be judgemental and selfish — cruel, even. The school can be a great place, but it can also be a nightmare. It tries to be understanding, but can also disregard the teachers’ and students’ voices. As with any place, there’s layers to this town, a mountain of issues that are constantly growing and shifting. Especially in the last few years, I can see that the town is chang- ing, and not necessarily for the better. The working theory is that we’ve been in a wacky alternate universe since 2016. Makes sense, right? I can’t imagine grow- ing up anywhere else besides here, though. I wasted a good part of my time here not fully appreciating the best things in this town. I couldn’t deal without having this much nature and green space in my life. The Glen gave us something beauti- ful and I’m so grateful to have such a magnificent forest so close by. Plus, our town is full of amazing art and murals. The most meaningful thing this town gave me was the people. There were people who made things worse for me at times, but even they influenced me to be the person I am now. There were also people who made bad things good and good things better. The people who paint those murals, the genuine people I’ve met, all the creative minds, weird souls, spontaneous people — and, most importantly, the real friends I made. The reason Yellow Springs is always going to be a special place for me is that it created the opportunity for me to meet all of these amazing, wonderful people who have become a part of my life one way or another. If I had different people in my life, I would be a completely diffe rent person right now. So I know I might not see a lot of these people anymore, but I’ll never forget them and this town or let go of the impact they had on me. Ivy Tebbe No response submitted. Judinya Thwaites-Brevik Parents/guardians: Yunus and Elizabeth Brevik; Qausu Thwaites Growing up, I have lived in 26 houses in six states and attended seven schools. Though my life has been chaotic, it began in and has consistently returned to Yellow Springs. I was born while my parents attended Antioch College, but moved away at a young age. As I grew up, my father and I would look forward to our annual visits to Yellow Springs and dream of the day we would move back. The town always had a mystique and an alluring air that promised acceptance and hope for the future. Yellow Springs has always felt like my home. Moving back my senior year was a struggle, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I have met some of the most amazing people I have had the privilege of knowing and made friends I know will last a lifetime. Additionally, I am extremely grateful to have learned from amazing teachers who truly care about their students and the curriculum they are teaching. Although senior year has been cut short, I know I will cherish the memories I have made thus far. I wish I could have spent more time with my friends in school, but I am thankful for the experience nonetheless. Living here through this pandemic has made me feel more connected to the town and my neighbors. Next year I plan to attend Ohio University as a sociology major in the Honors Tutorial College. Although I am unsure what profession I will go into after college, I hope to work within communities to promote accep- tance, social justice and equity. Dyllon Vanhoose Parents/guardians: James Vanhoose, Sarah Cox My final year at YSHS has been affected by the pandemic because they shut the schools down and my last prom and my last chance to play baseball with my brothers. I think it’s really meaningful that they are taking their time and will- ing to get on video chat to help you with your work. I haven’t really spoken to my friends, but me and my family, we are closer than usual — and we are kinda getting sick of each other. The good thing about my YS experi- ence is the town itself — it changed me for the better. When I first moved here, I didn’t know how to speak or write or spell, but this school didn’t care. All they knew was that I needed help. When I got up to sixth grade, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to make it in middle school because I was used to getting help, but when I got there, I realized that my teach- ers were preparing me the whole time. Then I got into high school and I thought it was over — but the teachers are so understanding of how to help that I get it twice as fast as I would by myself. The only thing I would change is the lack of respect I’ve given them over the time. I wasn’t the best student, but they still helped me through everything I asked for help on. My plan for after graduation is to go see my grandma and try to meet the rest of my family. I then want to go to a gym and and start boxing and training, then move up and become a professional fighter, perhaps UFC. In ten years, I see myself in Yellow Springs in a small house with a girlfriend. I’ll be getting up every morning for a jog and a workout, then coming home and seeing her, then going to the gym for some training, then heading to a side job. I was ready to do everything for the last time, like last prom, last baseball season with my brothers and graduation, but this happened and now everything went down the drain. I’m hoping it gets better so we can travel, so we can go on vacation like we had planned. I’m hoping everything works out to where I can graduate and have something good come out of this. bm Yellow Springs High School  CLASS OF 2020 A Special Section of the Yellow Springs News | May 28, 2020 Yellow Springs Library Association Yellow Springs Police Department Yellow Springs Youth Orchestra Association Young’s Jersey Dairy YS Federal Credit Union O u r S p o n s o r s  Jasiah Zinger- Mitchell Since this is alphabetical, I must be the last one. Some things never change. I’ve been in Yellow Springs virtu- ally my whole life, and I feel like it has dramatically impacted the person I am today. I started going to school here in first grade, and I moved to town in third grade. I can swiftly say I’ve been com- pletely ingrained in the culture. I’ve never really known what going to another school is like, and I didn’t realize how different and unique my schooling experience was for a long time. Mills Lawn always felt like it was a little less focused on traditional schooling, and put more thought into projects that some- times were not only meant to impact our school community, but the greater com- munity of Yellow Springs as well. Looking back, life seemed so much simpler back then, and now it’s hard to believe how much my life has changed from that over time, and what I’ve learned since then. Duringmiddle school, I started to become a little more aware of the kind of school I was attending, but I became less aware of who I was as a person. I was interested in the type of community of stu- dents that was being shaped during these years. But I still focused less and less on how I was presenting myself as a person and I had failed to pick up necessary social skills that would’ve helped me out at the time. This was a weird time for me. I kind of just got by in my first two years of high school and watched all the major events of the time happen around me. Junior year was when I felt like I really hit my stride and started to grow, and embrace the change. I loved every second of senior year, and it was a little heartbreaking that it got cut short. However, during this quarantine I feel like I’ve grown even more, and it’s felt a lot easier to see what’s really important in life, rather than responsibilities and keeping up with what’s going on in the world. Not a lot of people get to say they got an extended summer break for their senior year, so I’m certainly grateful for the unique experi- ence. I’ve walked through almost every part of this town I can find, and every once in a while, I still seem to find something new. After living in this town for almost a decade, I can still say that sometimes it does feel a little refreshing. I’m extremely grateful that I got the privilege to grow up here, flaws and all.