March, April, May, June … the months flew by. And now March looms again — the one-year anniversary of our last moments on campus. Among the chaotic events of the last year, we have continued to amplify voices as a publication and have grown along the way — as editors, students and individuals. 

Lots has changed from our first quarantine days of sourdough starter and whipped coffee. As we’ve experienced the entirety of our senior year through a screen, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and how to make the most of our unexpected circumstances. 

It’s easy to dwell on the bad and what we have lost — there’s certainly plenty. But it doesn’t help to look back when we can move forward. We’ve found the joy of senior year in new ways, whether through Zoom game nights with our friends or on our own.

Throughout this period of self-discovery and unanswered questions, our staff is still finding ways to make sense of it all. In this edition, design editor and fellow senior Kylie Mies captures the process of letting go of our senior year expectations and realizing the freeing feeling of independence in “Happily lonely.” Staff writer Jerry Fang provides his own perspective, reflecting on newfound hobbies — skateboarding and computer-aided design — in “Opportunity overload.” 

Like Fang, we’ve taken on our own adventures. Avery has been slowly relearning the piano — much to the chagrin of her family who has heard Rondo Alla Turca at least a thousand times. Meanwhile, Laura has been making the most of her monthly New York Times crossword subscription and Antonia has been taking advantage of the district’s free Adobe Creative Cloud membership to revive her graphic design skills. Myra just can’t get enough of banana bread, posting her recipe experimentations onto her new food blog. As Ishani works on stitching together a patchwork blanket, she is putting her knitting talent to use.

Though our interests are varied, we are certainly all relieved to have stepped into the second semester of our senior year and to be leaving the college application season behind. Now that we’re awaiting our decisions, we can look back at the hours of forced introspection and laugh. Webmaster Zander Leong perfectly captures the absurdity of the college application process in his satirical piece “How to win the college rat race.

The end of our college application process brought us a wave of relief, but the end of the pandemic is still out of sight. That said, the COVID-19 vaccine has fueled a resurgence of hope and debate. In the feature story “Hope?” News Editor Paisley Annes and staff writers Jonas Pao and Ishaan Batra tackle the controversy surrounding returning to school as soon as possible, or holding out for staff and student vaccinations.

While the battle to return to school has been a long and tumultuous one for many, we’ve learned to make the most of our virtual and all around unconventional senior year. We hope that by next year, the future staff of Verde can return to the MAC and sing “Happy Birthday” to their newest issue as they pin it on the wall, joining the dozens of issues that came before it.

On the cover

Art Director Samantha Ho depicts a healthcare worker preparing to administer the highly sought-after COVID-19 vaccine. In the background, an endless stream of tally marks for all the days we’ve spent stuck at home captures the anticipation and desperation for some kind of escape. After a variety of COVID restrictions, a vial of hope is finally available — with limitations. As teachers eagerly await their turn, debates rage over plans for the rest of the school year. Is the vaccine the answer to all we’ve faced over this tumultuous period, or is it just another topic of dissension?

Click here to read the PDF version of the magazine on Issuu