Senior Year

Since the start of distance learning, students, teachers, and parents alike have had to make immense changes in their typical schooling schedule. However, despite the abundant changes in the way people attend school and learn, there are also numerous changes to the social aspects of school.

Senior+Year

Alyssa Carlson and Emma Hughes

Since the start of distance learning, students, teachers, and parents alike have had to make immense changes in their typical schooling schedule. However, despite the abundant changes in the way people attend school and learn, there are also numerous changes to the social aspects of school. No one knows these differences better than the seniors. Regardless of whether it’s a loss of educational opportunities or fun senior activities, the 2021 senior class was in for a rude awakening when their year was nothing like that depicted in High School Musical. No homecomings, no rallies, no school organised senior sunrise, no football games, no senior nights, no winter formal, no GQ, and most likely, no prom. There still may be hope for graduation and a possible grad night; however, nothing is certain. 

Three years of tirelessly studying, working, and planning for the final year of high school, only to be faced with a computer screen and a senior project; because the school can cancel all the fun of senior year, but they can’t cancel the unnecessary stress of volunteering during a pandemic and creating a website to present in yet another zoom meeting. Nevertheless, the changes caused by distance learning — both educational and social — have affected everyone, especially the seniors.

Senior Athena Koehler acknowledges the unfortunate yet inevitable changes of her lab based classes in regards to preparing for her college major and eventual career path.

I was really looking forward to a lot of science based labs, because that’s something I really enjoy: getting out in the field and hands on work. I’m majoring in marine bio, and conservation, so this year was going to be the big lab year, where I focus on science. I’m taking anatomy with Ms. Holly right now, and that class usually does so many hands on labs where you dissect real animal parts. It’s really important in anatomy to know what they look like versus pictures and real life, so I’m missing out on that. Then in Hubacker’s class, which is the anglers, we’re missing out on the actual fish, like surveys and raising the fish in the classroom which helps us learn about life cycles. I can’t do any labs whatsoever” said Koehler. 

Senior and ASB Co-President Marcelly Marques describes the way the leadership class has attempted to combat the challenges that come with online learning. 

“We lack the family feel that the class usually has, but we have been working really hard on fundraising. The fundraising has been going surprisingly good and with the reliance on advertising it’s been beneficial to the class. We have also been doing mock committees to teach the underclassmen what we’ve been doing the last three years.” said Marques. 

Aside from the obviously different classroom experience, students are also missing the social interactions. Dances and club meetings and sport events are simply not in the cards during the pandemic. The additional events that are exclusive to seniors have also been set aside due to covid, leaving the seniors disheartened. Koehler expresses her disappointment at the numerous activities that students are now missing out on.

I was really looking forward to prom, and having a Grad Night. I’m going to miss that, as well as the senior sunrise. I’ll especially miss the rallies because seniors are always the loudest, and I’m a loud person. So I was really looking forward to bringing out the school spirit” said Koehler.

As months come and go, prom and graduation have been a possible light at the end of the tunnel that seniors are grasping to hold onto. It appears the leadership class has also been pushing and hoping for prom, but also preparing possible alternatives in order to still give seniors the end of the year that they deserve despite the lack of assistance from the administration.

“If we have to do last minute preparations for an event we will. We will make any chance at a prom happen. We also have around 15 alternatives to prom that would be free events for the seniors to attend.” said Marques. 

While it is difficult to let go of the idealistic prom, Marques notes that the senior class has to be realistic about the circumstances. 

“The perfect prom that seniors have been pushing and hoping for that is the same as past years with a venue and all that just isn’t going to happen. However, we are tossing around the idea of an outdoor prom. No matter what we want to give the seniors a special closure to the year.” said Marques. 

Although it is difficult to let go of the senior year that the class of 2021 has been waiting for the last three years, it is important to remember that the world has basically ended. Nevertheless, the leadership class is pushing to give the seniors any semblance of their perfect senior year, despite the obvious obstacles. Clearly, this year doesn’t live up to every high school movie ever made; however, seniors should NOT be upset with the administration for their lack of assistance and information during this time, as well as the additional stress of the senior project. Always remember: it’s a great day to be a Gaucho!