Rocky Rub and Hope Womack prepare for their senior year at Astoria High School.

As the upcoming school year approaches, we as high school seniors have never been more excited to return to our campus.

The “Brick House,” as some refer to it, has begun to symbolize new beginnings. A new beginning to a somewhat normal life and new beginnings for our school unity and the spirit it brings. We now have firsthand experience in the pros and cons of in-person as well as distance learning, and are here to tell you how critical going back to school is for us.

Thanks to the people in our community, we are fortunate enough to have had construction on our campus take place over the past year. Our refurbished school is a part of these new beginnings. After touring some of the new and improved facilities, we have both been astonished by the opportunities and experiences our new school has to offer.

As this year’s Associated Student Body co-presidents, we have both pledged to help make our student body more comfortable in our place of learning. This has never been more important than this upcoming school year, as the social aspect of our high school experience has been halted.

With the passing of our school’s bond for improvements to its facilities, the campus feels progressively safer for its students. The new security, gender-neutral bathrooms, refurbished auditorium, updated classrooms, additional art and music rooms and even new study outlets have enabled our student body to be authentically themselves and pursue whatever sparks their interests.

All aspects of student life have benefited from the bond, reaching from the athletics department to our performing and fine art programs. This includes spacious workplaces and modern equipment for students in locker rooms, dressing rooms and new personal musical storage and recording studios. We are greatly appreciative of what our community has provided to us.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are now more than ever asking the people around us to do their part in ending this pandemic. Without the efforts of everyone, there is still a possibility that our hopes and aspirations for this school year will again be uprooted.

As part of the Class of 2022, these dreams for normalcy are increased tenfold as we have not experienced a full year of in-person instruction, as well as opportunities in extracurricular, since we were freshmen. Some of these aspects have begun to start returning to our lives, as such, our future with these programs and school depend on the health of our public.

We are so ecstatic about our senior year, and so appreciative of opportunities that have been granted by our community. We again thank you all for enhancing the experiences of our student body as we prepare to get back in our classrooms.

Rocky Rub and Hope Womack are co-presidents of the Astoria High School Associated Student Body.