Aryana Zarandi: No Regrets

By Emma Pascu and Ethan Carley

The Coronavirus Pandemic has rattled the fate of the 2019-2020 school year. For the first time, hallways that were once overly crowded stand empty as students learn at home. With the in-building school year called off, teachers are left separated from their students. The excitement of upcoming theatre productions, spring sports, and a multitude of other lively events around the school has been diminished. The entire school community has been left with a feeling of disappointment as they cope with the dire situation. With everyone being isolated in their homes, it has been difficult to grasp the feelings of the student population. Anxious? Worried? Excited to return? Who better to ask than Aryana Zarandi, our Student Council president? Aryana can normally be spotted with a microphone in hand, chanting out in front of a packed gym of roaring teenagers, but as the coronavirus conundrum leaves her without a visible audience, how is she feeling? This is what she had to say:

“To begin, I just wanted to acknowledge that everyone’s experiences will be different and that the following is based on my time at STA. This is obviously just one perspective out of many as to what one person’s high school experiences could look like and how it feels to be a senior during a pandemic! Honestly, my Grade 12 Year was definitely one of my favourites by far, even with it being cut short! As a senior, there are so many exciting things that will happen to you in several months that it is borderline life-changing, especially with the transition to university right around the corner. With that in mind, a lot of the Grade 12s decided to make the absolute most of this year because of all of those daunting realizations that kicked in the summer before. Coming into Grade 12 as the President of Student Council, I knew that this year would be the best. We were able to change the atmosphere of the school and set an example for the younger grades to just have fun and appreciate the moments we have with our friends, grade, and staff. There were so many amazing moments that I truly will never forget, and it’s those moments that I have already experienced which allow me to be at ease with this current situation. Looking back, I do not have any regrets or feel that I am missing any milestone celebrations since I know that I have made the most of my high school career. Yes, I would have loved to attend my own prom and get the “full” high school experience, but knowing that we are living through unprecedented times leaves me thankful and grateful for all the unforgettable memories that I have already made throughout these past four years. And, these memories will define my time at STA. 

In my opinion, there are lessons to be learned from this situation and if I could give any advice to the younger grades, it would be to: 

  1. Take advantage of every opportunity in high school. Join those clubs, teams, and bands! 
  2. Have fun at school and appreciate the little moments with your friends, classmates, and teachers. One day you will leave the STA community and will not get to experience any of those conversations, places (like the Atrium, Library, etc.) and people ever again. 
  3. In regards to university applications/future decisions, try to enjoy every moment and try not to stress as much because you will realize that it will all work out on its own. 
  4. When the Seniors tell you that “High school goes by so fast!” BELIEVE THEM and make the most of your experiences and TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES and VIDEOS (they are so fun to look back on!)”

Even though our school year was unexpectedly cut-short, Aryana’s words serve as a crucial reminder to be thankful for all of our existing memories and to make more upon our return to school. As seen with the world’s most recent events, it’s easy to feel disappointed for all the joys the pandemic has stolen, but when we look back to our high school years, the disappointment of events being called off will simply be a flash in the memory reel. It will be the memories we hold on to and the memories we make that will stay with us everlastingly.