Sahiti Gellala is one of my friends who goes to Alpharetta High School and is also an retired creator here on the Alpharetta Odyssey Team. I met her in our first AP class and we immediately became friends! As I was recently chatting with her, I got excited to talk to her about the pandemic and how it's affected our friendships since we are no longer allowed to meet our friends as often. High school is huge experience in any teenager's life, so it's important to recognize the people who faced the same obstacles as us throughout our journey, and cherish the memories we had!
Where did you/are you graduating from?
Hi, my name is Sahiti! I am going to graduate from Alpharetta High School. Go Raiders!
What has it been like spending your last semester under quarantine amidst the coronavirus pandemic?
It was actually a disappointing but also sort of advantageous. Disappointing because it was definitely not how I imagined it to go and I missed a lot of milestones and last few months with my closest friends. It was sad to see that the end of high school was so lackluster and uneventful. But it was strangely advantageous only in terms of grades.
Of all the things you missed out on because of quarantine, what has been the hardest to accept?
The fact that a lot of friends are going to other places and I couldn't say goodbye to any of them.
What has been a silver lining?
I think I'm just really looking forward to colleges opening so that I could see people in person again. It's been really frustrating just being surrounded by four walls and parents. So college would be like a breath of fresh air! More so than ever after this pandemic.
What have you done to make up for some of the graduation traditions you aren't able to do?
I haven't really done anything of that sort. Our school hosted a drive in graduation. And I didn't want to go because it sort of felt useless to me. I couldn't meet with anyone and just sit in a car. And it just reminded me of everything I could've had but can't.
What are your next steps, and have they been impacted by Coronavirus?
My next steps have more or less remained the same. I would go to college and pursue a data science degree which had nothing to do with the Coronavirus. The only thing that changed is that I don't see anyone anymore.
What is the worst thing someone can say to a Class of 2020 graduate?
"Enjoyed graduation and prom this year?" It would make any high school graduate mad since the most eventful semester of our high school experience was taken away from us before our eyes, especially these two events!
What is one piece of advice you would love to give to the class of 2021?
Enjoy the time you spend with your friends cause you never know when another pandemic will strike.
What about the last few months do you think you'll remember most?
I'll remember how our teachers said goodbye to us in the most disappointing way. Not because they didn't care about us but, it's because we can never see each other again. I'll definitely remember how horrible AP exams were though!
What was one thing you saw change about you throughout high school from freshman to senior year?
I think I became more open minded because I was exposed to a lot of new perspectives and people who differed severely from the people I interacted with before I came to America. It led me to change my opinions about a few things and mature a bit. I also learned how friends are probably the most important people in our lives and we should try and cherish them as much as possible.