Leaving behind the good times to go up against the unknown can be as terrifying as facing a mysterious wild beast. Moving on is a part of life. The seniors at Key West High School (KWHS) are on the precipice of the greatness each of their futures hold, and they have worry and excitement as the clock ticks down to graduation.
Rosa Nafrere, President of the Senior Class of 2022, shared her thoughts on what is next for her. “I am both nervous and excited to start the next chapter of my life. I will be attending the University of South Florida this summer. I’m kind of nervous about being away from my family and friends, but I’m super excited to meet new people, be in a completely new city, and have new opportunities.” These two emotions are inextricably intertwined, with excitement comes fear and with fear comes excitement.
Dekyus Dickerson, a senior who moved to KWHS at the beginning of the school year, is extremely excited to move forward to the next stage of his life. The recent Harvard University commit divulged, “I’m just super honored to have the opportunity to further my education at one of the best academic institutions in the world. It still kind of feels unreal. I am ecstatic about what’s ahead. I don’t feel like there’s any school or environment that can better prepare me for my career and the rest of my life.”
Dickerson continued, “And, on the other side of that, there is that lingering imposter syndrome where you feel like you don’t belong in such an amazing place. However, I think I’m prepared to overcome any challenge I might face and excel in what I decide to dedicate myself to. I can’t wait to see what my future holds.”
When a massive change is about to occur, people often look back at where they came from and appreciate the choices and memories that brought them to this moment. Nafrere explained one of her most nostalgic memories from her past four years at KWHS. “My favorite high school memory was the 2021 Homecoming Parade.” Nafrere elaborated, “I had a complete blast getting to ride in one of the convertibles with my best friend Alexander and I really enjoyed watching all the skits and my favorite part was hearing my class get called for the first place trophy that night. As one of the class officers, it was so nice to see that all of the hard work we did leading up to that day paid off. I also really enjoyed the sense of community I felt the whole night.”
Although he has only lived in Key West for the last year of high school, Dickerson has found his place here and will deeply miss the Conch Pride spirit of KWHS. He revealed, “I haven’t been in Key West for very long, but I have developed such amazing bonds during my time here. I’ve truly developed another family within the community and I am going to miss all of my friends and teachers a lot next year. I had so much fun at homecoming this year, I loved playing high school sports, and I am really looking forward to prom. But, my favorite high school memory is probably junior/senior field day. It truly brought me back to my elementary school days and I haven’t had that much fun at school in a very long time. That will definitely be a day I will remember forever.”
While the Class of 2022 will be moving on to bigger cities and better things, the memories they have made at KWHS will forever remain in their hearts. All that this year’s seniors have left to do is to take a leap of faith to be one step closer to the next chapter of their lives.