Top Ten Niche yet Universal Class of 2023 Tenafly High School Experiences


Dina Shlufman, Managing Editor

I sit here on June 14, 2023, reflecting on my high school experience as I open a Google Doc under my school email for the last time. It’s time to write my final Echo article. The THS memories that have the highest frequency of circulation in my mind are the small ones, not in a “it’s the little things” type of way, but in the “wow, I can’t believe so many of my peers and I all went through such a specific event” type of way. While my entire grade didn’t experience each and every one of these events, a high enough percentage of them did for them to be considered universal. I’ve compiled ten of these so-called niche yet universal Tenafly High School experiences and have listed them in chronological order.

1. Studying Really Hard for a Test That Was Scheduled for Friday, March 13, 2020

Personally, I had an absolutely gargantuan test on the entire history of China scheduled for this day and had made an 86-page study guide. This was not an uncommon occurrence; many of my peers have expressed also having large assessments scheduled for this Friday. On Wednesday night of this same week, my history class held a group FaceTime call in which we all collectively freaked out about the sheer amount of information we would have to cram in 48 hours. Lo and behold, 24 hours later, school (and with that the test) was canceled due to COVID, and now my study guide rots at the bottom of my Google Drive.

2. Walking into Your Science Class on an Orange (Non-Lab) Week

We’ve all been there. It’s 12:09 pm, right after lunch, and you strut into your physical science class only to recognize absolutely no one in a crowd of juniors. You frantically check Saturn which only confirms your greatest fear: you’re late to gym class. You bolt down the hallway and stumble over your words apologizing to your teacher. It took all of us months to adjust to the Tenafly schedule.

3. The Humanities In-Class Essay on The Odyssey

While the class of ’23 lucked out by not having to take the infamous summer reading quiz, we still had to endure the essay. I distinctly remember calling my friends in a panic the night before the big day and spending hours summarizing the plot, trying fruitlessly to predict the prompt. The day of, everyone’s sweat and fear were palpable, even over the Zoom screen. Completing this essay was akin to running to Marathon.

The night before disaster.

4. Being Absolutely Blinded by the Stage Lights During Music Concerts

Our band, orchestra, and choir concerts brought my grade together like nothing else. Getting to showcase our talent and our love of music was such a fun and rewarding experience. However, nothing absolutely demolished our excitement quite like the scalding blaze of the lights that illuminated our performance. Trying not to sneeze after accidentally staring directly into them was more challenging than learning the music.

5. Hot Pink Paper

Amidst the paper shortage of ’22, the Great Paper Debate began. Was the objectively superior color fluorescent green or cyan? Was the test easier if it was printed on hot pink or highlighter yellow? Our binders became a free advertisement for Lucky Charms. Hey, on the bright (get it?) side, we seldom lost our homework.   

6. That One Fire Drill that Took Place During a Torrential Downpour

It was a Wednesday. It was 8th period. We all wanted to go home. We all had migraines from the weather change. We all collectively groaned when we heard the alarm. We trampled over each other, searching for our jackets, hiding our belongings within them. There we stood getting absolutely beaten by the sheer force of the raindrops falling on our heads. It was a long day.


7. Learning How to Pronounce Tryptophan and Topoisomerase in AP Biology

Once we finally got to everyone’s third favorite biology unit, DNA replication (behind genetics and ecology, of course), my period 5 class was faced with a challenge far more daunting than the upcoming AP exam: pronunciation. We sat deflated as our teacher (bless his heart) kept repeating the words at different speeds and with various inflections and stressed syllables, all to no avail. After weeks of cringing as each student gave it their best shot, we finally got it. Trip-toe-fan. Toe-per-eye-psalm-er-ace.

8. Losing All Four Olympics

Okay. So, my grade was mostly into Olympics for the aesthetics alone, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a blast. I, personally, absolutely dominated Heads Up during senior year. Our lovely class officers endlessly tried to increase our morale and school spirit before the event every year. As we always say, although we never won, we would’ve had it not been for those pesky point deductions.

Senior Olympics!

9. The Twilight Zone Before Finals

Between a school-wide hacking and the orange remnants of the Canadian wildfires, it’s pretty clear that things get a little weird in June. The year begins to unravel and, with it, the universe.

10. Four Years, No Finals

This last one seems too good to be true. The class of 2023 circumvented the rite of passage every other THS class before us had to experience at least once. COVID, COVID again, hacking, and senior exemption saved (most of) us from having to endure more testing than we have already been subjected to.


 All of these moments, whether they were positive, negative, or just plain funny, truly bonded our grade and created lasting memories that the class of ‘23 will look back on for years to come. Congratulations, seniors!