Sydney Orland


I love school. I always have. I love learning, being with my friends, and participating in many different teams and clubs. Freshman year, I played for the soccer and golf teams and got to enjoy the experience of being a part of a team. Practicing every day and competing alongside my teammates. Through rainy days and holidays, every day was lived to the full. Some of my best memories have taken place on this campus.


Memories like, singing and chattingon the long bus rides home, standing in awe watching the lightning storm at Joshua tree, and facing my fears as I got on stage to perform at coffee house were Well, what happens when everything you loved and looked forward to is ripped away from you? Sure, it sounds fun to have a 2-week vacation at first, but what happens when that so-called “vacation” is suddenly never-ending? We thought we would be back in school by Spring Break, but then summer comes along and then it is fall of 2020, and school is starting again, but only this time you have to go to school in your bedroom. There is nothing more to look forward to. Everything you want to accomplish just vanishes. Club soccer? Nope. Being with your friends? Sorry. Going to school in person? Haha, funny joke. After not even finishing my first year of high school, everything was taken away from me without warning. 


Eventually, I found a rhythm in my day-to-day life. I would wake up at 7:59 am, log into zoom, and go through the motions of my day. Some good things came out of this time. I became best friends with my sister and my neighbor, and they added some joy back into my life. Having sleepovers with my best friend, made life even better. Soon, I was happy again. I had a reason to get out of bed every day. I could look forward to watching dance moms until midnight with my friends and watching Christmas movies, and baking cookies. 


Well, life has a funny way of playing practical jokes on you. After I got into this routine, everything was once again taken away from me. First, my best friend moved away. Then, everyone went back to school. Well, except me, of course. Now the only thing I got to look forward to each and every day was being in a big, empty house with no one to talk to or communicate with except the people on my screen, and even they didn’t seem real. This would take a toll on anyone, but especially someone who relies on social interactions and being with people to get through the day. I no longer knew what to do with myself. I found solace in being in my bed and watching tv all day. I was no longer interested in school and never hung out with my friends. I felt alone. Little did I know that life would keep moving forward. And just like the song we looked at in Ap Lang, “Never Walk Alone,” I wasn’t alone after all. Many others were also experiencing what I was experiencing. We would soon return to school, and I would make new friends and even rekindle my friendships with other people. Eventually, I began to enjoy life again. 


If I learned anything from covid and could give you one piece of advice, it would be to not take anything or anyone for granted and to enjoy the rest of high school while it is still here. Life is always changing and you just have to make the most out of every single day. 



Thank you to all of my teachers who have helped throughout my time here at Renaissance. 


Ms. Collins: I am pretty sure that beating Lulu and Ms. D in the Christmas contest last year was the highlight of my year. You are one of the biggest reasons I survived my junior year without having a full-on mental breakdown. Thank you for being such a great learning specialist. Your classroom provided me with a safe haven from everything else in my crazy life, and I really appreciated all of your help and guidance. 


Ms. Tanya: Thank you for helping with ASB and always opening up your classroom when I needed a break. 


Mr. Quan: Even though you haven’t been here for very long and last year’s APUSH class was kinda rough, you are one of my favorite teachers, and I always love being in your class. Your passion and love for History is inspiring, and I could only hope to be as passionate about something as you are for teaching.. I always look forward to going to advisory, even if I am a little bit late every once in a while. 


James: Even though we don’t always get along, I enjoy spending time with you, whether playing Mario kart or taking you to get ice cream. Also, please don’t take my room when I go to college. 


Maddie: I know you are probably making fun of my entire speech and laughing at me, but you truly are the best sister I could hope for. Even though I don’t always show it, I love driving you around and spending time with you. You and Taylor are the only reason I survived COVID and I will be so sad when I can’t see you everyday. 


Taylor: You are like a little sister to me, and most of the time, I get along better with you than people in my own family. I love going to Dunkin and Pinkberry and all of our movie nights. You have become so much more than my neighbor or my little sister's annoying friend, and I am so happy that we became friends. Also thank you for helping me with fashion advice some of you probably know i needed it.


Olivia: thanks for being my friend since freshman year and always being so enthusiastic and happy all the time. Your happiness runs off on people including me and I appreciate it. 


Teddy: I am still mad at you for leaving me, but thanks for being my friend forever


Nikki: Thank you for changing around your entire schedule so I would have a friend in my math class. I love when we hangout and go in my hot tub. You are always so much fun and I am so happy that we became close last year. 


Camryn: Thank you for being my workout buddy and always hanging out with me. Also, I am sorry for facetiming you all hours of the day. 


Maria: I love our competitions and how you always push me to do my best in school. You have made me a better student and person and I appreciate how you always help me. I love our conversations and how you always make me think about everything. You are going to be so successful in life and I cannot wait to witness all of your accomplishments. 


Lulu: Thanks for always being there for me, despite all of the craziness in our lives. Thanks for being my therapist and always listening to me complaining about everything. You are such a good friend and I am so happy that we have gotten close the past two years. I can’t wait for us to go to Boston together and continue to make music and make so many more memories. 


Gogo: You are the best grandma I could ever wish for. I love our lunches and being with you. Thank you for teaching me how to drive and always looking out for me. I love you. 


Mom: Thank you for always advocating for me and putting me in the best positions possible to succeed. I would not be here today without you constantly pushing me to do my best and the way you always stood up for me when I could not stand up for myself. 


Dad: Thank you for all of the opportunities that you have given me, from coaching my soccer teams to allowing me to help you in trial. You have one of the best work ethics out of anyone I know, which has rubbed off on me and is why I am such a hard worker. Your motto of “attack the day” inspires me to work hard every day and to make the most out of what is given to me.