Editor's Note: Jesse Hendricks is a senior at Fort Payne High School. The following story is the fourth in a series that will feature seniors from around DeKalb County discussing their experiences during their not-so-typical senior years.
From building a robot to cooking a delicious meal, Avery Payton does it all. Avery is a senior at Fort Payne High School and is involved in several clubs such as Future Farmers of America (FFA), Culinary, Science Club, BEST Robotics, First Robotics, and Fort Payne Television (FPTV).
However, now that school is out, Avery is disheartened that he could not complete his senior year on campus.
He explained, “I’m very sad that schools are closed because, as a senior, I missed out on a lot of traditions and opportunities.” So many seniors like Avery weren’t able to participate in activities such as senior skip day, class night, the slow motion pep rally, and graduation. Avery adds, “I would have liked to be given these opportunities because of the closure they provide for our high school lives.”
Now that Avery is home, he gives thought to all the things he misses at Fort Payne High including his friends and teachers. He stated,” I miss my friends the most. We really take for granted the days in school where just being able to see those you care about can brighten your day.” Avery added, “I also miss my teachers. We are so very grateful to have a wonderful and caring faculty at our school and I hope that I’ll be able to convey my gratitude to them in person when I get a chance.”
Avery knows that other seniors are coping with losing their senior year and wants to remind them to try new things. He explained, “ My advice would be to not get stuck in a boring routine. Find ways everyday to do something different, even if it’s something small, to get a break from your boredom.”
Avery also wants to express the importance of being careful when leaving home. He cautioned, “you can’t be too careful” and stated, “the smallest things can go a long way if everyone will do them.” And finally, Avery advised, “Just practice good hygiene, adhere to guidelines on social distancing and personal protection, and we can get over this.”
Taking his own advice, Avery tries to do different things everyday. He enjoys playing video games, doing activities outside, and trying new recipes. Furthermore, Avery is planning for college. He is going to Coastal Alabama Community College and pursuing a degree in culinary arts.
When the Safer at Home order has been lifted, the first thing Avery wants to do is reconnect with the friends from school that he hasn’t gotten to see.