Class of 2020 Changes Prep Culture

Danica Dytioco, Online Editor

Four years, seven hundred and twenty days, a thousand four hundred and forty hours. While that time on campus was cut short, the class of 2020 still did not hesitate to leave their mark on Prep culture.

For many in the class of 2020, they had siblings who knew Prep culture and who set their expectations for what to expect for the upcoming four years. While it is one thing to hear second hand of the loving community that Prep fosters, it is another to truly experience it firsthand. Even for senior Leigh Jensen, who has grown up hearing of the welcoming community at Prep, it still came at a shock “to form such great friendships and find people that liked me for me and I didn’t have to pretend to be someone else.”

Though what sets this year’s senior class apart is what they managed to do with the values that they learned from Prep. Class of 2020 took the friendship and community taught to them and continued to extend that to the greater Seattle area. Julia Oles ’20 saw that the “class of 2020 really branched out and formed amazing connections … We really managed to create a community of kids all over Seattle.”

The class of 2020 spread love and have continued to spread love everywhere they went.

As the senior class has grown up, taking up more leadership within Prep, they began to lead by example for the underclassmen to follow. Kyle Hoang ’20 sees the seniors as “a class that underclassmen looked up to and respected. They want to be like us and took in everything we taught them, especially on retreats.”

The biggest example these seniors could set for not only the current underclassmen, but for classes to come, is how to step up against adversity. In the tragedy of their senior year being cut short, the class of 2020 took this as an opportunity for growth. In this, Prep’s class of 2020 has changed Prep’s culture “by being the most optimistic and perseverant class” according to Hoang.

Our seniors set the tone for the following graduating classes at Prep, and what will continue to set them apart is how they handled themselves in these isolated times. While it has been disappointing to have the best year of high school cut short, Oles highlighted that “At the end of the day we have grown through the situation and have become more mature than past senior classes have been because of it.”