This is not the way Payton Wilkerson envisioned her senior year.
"The school that I go to is known for their spirit," Wilkerson said. "I expected it to be over the top and extreme; I watched from fifth grade on and I guess, going into it, I expected
everybody to....you know we will have a big prom and giant homecoming and it wasn't that."
Canceled football games, dances, banquets, and hybrid learning were all part of Wilkerson's last year in high school.
Despite it all, though, Wilkerson's outlook on the past year is not what you would expect.
"We don't have a big school, so I knew it wouldn't be what it was but I knew it would be something," Wilkerson said. "I didn't expect what life would be like, nobody did with Covid, but it wasn't terrible."
Over in Lafayette Parish Kaitlin Harris echoed Wilkerson's words.
She said she thought her senior year would be a wash but was able to find the silver lining in it all.
"Honestly, you can't miss something you never had," Harris said. "Experience your experience and not what other people had."
With a year filled with uncertainty, how did both manage to stay positive?
"Even though it was uncertain and everything I still got everything I pushed myself for," Harris explained. "From homecoming court, to cheerleading, grades, and scholarships I got everything I wanted from high school. I can say that I'm done, good, and had a good experience."
"There are cons to it, but the pros are that it taught us perseverance," Wilkerson said.
"Knowing that I can overcome what I have done and succeeded how I have is nice."
As both girls get ready to take that final walk as high school students, ready to embark on that next chapter in life, they said the memories that they will take them with them is not of a year lost--but of years of ups, downs, and life lessons.