The Class of 2020 earned their diplomas under extraordinary circumstances, missing out on milestones as the community faced a global health crisis. The Times caught up with South Carroll graduate Gwen Lillycrop, who was active in drama, National Honor Society and Best Buddies while also working part-time.
Q: What extracurriculars, sports, employment did you participate in outside of the classroom?
A: I was a part of the drama club (Stagelighters), video production club (Screenlighters), Best Buddies, National Honor Society, ITS, volunteer work, and had a part-time job.
Q: Did you have a favorite subject in school?
A: My favorite subject was English, especially AP Lang.
Q: What will you miss the most about your high school experience?
A: I will miss all of the friends I made in Stagelighters and Best Buddies. They became my family and helped me grow into the person I am today.
Q: What were you excited to graduate and leave behind?
A: As bittersweet as graduation was, I’m ready for the next chapter of my life. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned in high school and use it in college and beyond.
Q: This is a historic moment due to COVID-19, although not in a way any of us would hope for. Are there any ways that it’s affecting your generation that some people might not realize?
A: This has taken a huge hit on my generation’s mental health. We thrive on socialization, whether it’s with one person or a hundred. We need human interaction to maintain a positive or even normal disposition. Due to COVID-19, so many of my friends have been becoming socially isolated in a way that cannot be fixed my virtual interaction. It is causing mental health deterioration.
Q: What was a moment you felt proud of an accomplishment in high school?
A: There was a time when our drama club was facing a lot of hate from other students. One of the proudest moments of my life thus far is how we all came together as a family and did not let that detain us. We performed an amazing show and grew because of it. It inspired me to always keep my head up.
Q: Can you share one way you have grown since you were a freshman?
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A: When I was a freshman, I cared a lot about what people thought of me. I was very careful about what I said and did so I did not ruin my “image.” Through the help of my peers, I’ve grown into a more confident person. I take others’ judgments with a grain of salt and remind myself that self-worth comes from me and me only.