As a member of the senior class, not only does Rachel Urback have to do virtual school but she has overcome many challenges thrown her way this year. She has faced severe medical setbacks, to the point where she is currently trying to retrain her body to walk again.
Like all students, Urback has had to adapt to online classes, which has shown to be quite a large change from in person classes. But online learning has helped her during this time.
“I really wish we could be back in person, seeing as it’s our last year of school with most of these people. But considering my lack of mobility, it really is easier for me to do online school at the moment,” Urback said.
Urback faced a big setback during the beginning of her senior year, which many students probably can’t even fathom. She woke up a few months ago in extreme pain in her hip area, which prevented her from being able to move. A few days later, she was admitted to the hospital..
“I was told I had an extreme infection in my hip and pelvic area that would take extensive antibiotics and lots of work to get me walking again,” Urback said.
She was in the hospital for 15 days, 11 of those days she was unable to leave bed or roll to her side without assistance from multiple nurses. She has been home for nearly two months now and is still having to use a cane to walk.
“I go to PT [physical therapy] weekly and am working really hard to get back to where I was before but unfortunately there is still a long road ahead,” Urback said.
But she has successfully been juggling schoolwork, her recovery, and clubs. Urback is taking mostly advanced classes. These include AP Literature and Spanish 4. She is also the Vice President of Key Club and a member of National Honor Society.
“I feel with school being online I am not learning as much as I do when I’m in class. Sometimes it can feel like we are just going through the motions and with everything physically wrong with me, school is unfortunately not on the forefront of my mind always,” Urback said.
As she continues to recover and work hard to get back her mobility, her friends continue to support her. Senior Nicolette Mackey, Urback’s friend since kindergarten, has always seen her best friend as a fighter who never gives up. Throughout everyday life, Urback has continued to challenge herself to become a stronger person.
“I was really concerned for her when she got injured because I had never seen her that weak in my life. I expected her to possibly drop some classes and take it easy her senior year. Not once after she got sick did she tell me that she wanted to drop classes, she wanted to push herself to graduate with honors,” Mackey said.
Taking the course load that she is and also being a part of two clubs is a lot to handle for any student. Urback is making the most of it though and she is still applying herself to the best of her ability. A setback like hers, doesn’t only affect her physically but also mentally.
“I think the most stressful part about everything is trying to balance school and gaining my mobility back. Completely relearning how to walk not only is physically extremely challenging but also mentally very difficult. It sometimes does affect the effort I am able to put into my schoolwork,” Urback said.
Urback is a great inspiration to her friends because she continues to do the things she loves, works hard at school, and is learning how to walk again. She has continued to work hard every day to regain her strength and to get back to where she was a few months ago. This set back has not stopped Urback from reaching her goals in school.
“Rachel is handling all of these challenges better than anyone could. I am so proud of my best friend and she surprises me all the time because of how much she accomplishes,” Mackey said.