Seniors saddened by loss of final months of high school
By Halle Wyatt, Co-Content Editor
These past few months have been turbulent and unpredictable for nearly everyone around the globe. Although the fear of getting sick with and losing loved ones to COVID-19 is ever present in our lives, groups of students around the nation are plagued by other thoughts as well: the disappearance of their senior year.
Despite understanding that the state-wide lockdown is the best solution to prevent the virus from spreading excessively, seniors can’t help but feel disappointed about missing many traditions – such as senior sunset or the senior prank – they spent years looking forward to.
“I’m really sad about missing all of these events just because myself and all of the other seniors have worked many years to get to these moments and we aren’t getting to experience them anymore,” senior and co-president of the Executive Board, Alexia Taisey, said.
Other students are upset by the cancelation of a traditional graduation ceremony.
“All of us seniors have gone through so many years of schooling looking forward to our graduation day with parties and getting to walk on the stage and get our diploma,” senior and ASB secretary Maya Harrison said. “It is very upsetting to have all of that taken away from you.”
ASB members have worked to help seniors feel connected to one another through social media by starting “Senior Sundays” on their Instagram account. These posts feature various seniors and their post-graduation plans. They also are planning a possible virtual spirit week.
Although they hope for some events such as graduation or prom to be rescheduled at a later date once the lockdown has ended, Harrison is crestfallen by other canceled events after ASB had devoted so much time to them.
“I was really upset that Sadie Hawkins got canceled because we had been working so hard on making that dance super fun,” Harrison said. “We had ordered decorations and were getting super excited about the location. There were a lot of meetings and hard work that went into planning that dance so it’s hard to not be able to share that with the whole school.”
Both Harrison and Taisey miss the little moments from high school before the quarantine.
“What I miss most about school is seeing my peers,” Taisey said. “Sadly, on our last day none of us were sure that it was our last day, so myself along with most other seniors are extremely disappointed that we weren’t able to treat it as our last day and say our goodbyes and thank yous to so many people.”
Harrison also expressed her dismay at being unable to regularly see her classmates.
“As seniors, this was our last year altogether and I was starting to rekindle and make new friendships, so it is sad to not be able to see all of my friends,” Harrison said. “The spring of your senior year is supposed to be one of the best times of your high school experience and so I am sad to miss out on that.”
Some seniors are experiencing difficulty adjusting to their new schedules.
“For me, nothing is really flowing smoothly and every teacher has different expectations about all of this which makes it hard,” Harrison said. “I know that quarantine can be very hard for some people, including me, so I think that teachers and administrators should be understanding of that and realize that this is super hard and sad for seniors.”
Despite these struggles, they are all understanding of the amount of effort teachers are putting in to make online learning as easy as possible.
“I know the school has been trying to give support to all of us to the best of their abilities and it doesn’t go unappreciated,” Taisey said.
Harrison echoed Taisey’s gratitude for the school district.
“This time can be scary, sad, and unknown for everyone and so just as much as us seniors may feel out of the loop, I know that the administration probably does too,” she said. “There is not much they can do, but I believe that the school district is trying to do all that they can to help out the seniors, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.”
Many seniors are also concerned about the uncertainty surrounding their post-high school plans and if they will be able to begin the next phase of their lives as they had anticipated.
“I am planning on attending The University of Montana in the fall and it is a real concern that colleges might not start up by then and school will still be online,” Harrison said. “It’s been hard for me to get excited about my next steps because I am trying to be as realistic as possible and it is sad having that feeling that I might not get to start something that I have been looking forward to for so long.”
Although it’s impossible to predict what awaits seniors in the weeks and months ahead, they are still feeling grateful for their years at the high school.
“Quarantine has made me reflect a lot on high school and my experience,” Taisey said. “I am so thankful to the school and my peers for allowing me to have such an amazing experience and I hope everyone uses this opportunity to come back and have the time of their life because there are some good memories to be made.”