As the bell rings, the sound of loud chatter and footsteps accompany the sight of hundreds of students filling vast halls. There are no precautions at all – no social distancing or masks insight. Underclassmen work hard to ensure they can make it to the next grade as seniors savor their last year of high school to the fullest.
Until we couldn’t.
Since we were young children starting out in elementary school, we all dreamed of making it to our senior year of high school and studied tirelessly each year in order to make that possible. It’s a year that is practically glamorized by everyone and there are visions of events, parties, friends, laughter, and smiles as they were portrayed in movies such as “High School Musical”. That final year is almost treated like a reward for all that we worked for beforehand.
But what happens when all your desires and plans for such a significant year gets completely thrown out the window by a pandemic?
It’s nothing anyone expected, and unfortunately, the class of 2021 is the first class to not have the full senior year experience due to COVID-19. In front of our very eyes, all our senior year expectations got ripped to shreds by a virus. And despite all the ways everyone is trying to make up for this loss, there is no doubt that this problem is affecting many seniors in negative ways.
Even before COVID-19, it was common that seniors went through what many people like to call “senioritis.” It is not a real medical condition, but a humorous term to describe the decline of motivation that students may experience in their final year. Now that most seniors are attending school virtually, it’s only fair to say that our “senioritis” is a million times worse. There is a new influx of students not attending class or submitting assignments. It’s an issue for all grades, but with graduation coming soon, seniors don’t have much time to be slacking around.
It shouldn’t be a shock that the mental health of many seniors has likely worsened. With our high school experience being cut short comes the pain of many of our long-awaited senior activities being canceled. Homecoming, prom, dodgeball tournament, Senior Sunrise, Elephant Walk, senior panoramic, graduation, and so on. There is a chance that some of these events may still happen, but there will inevitably be limitations that will prevent seniors from having the full experience that we were looking forward to since the beginning.
Without realizing it, there are many things that we might have done for the last time ever and that we took for granted. Talking to a favorite teacher, gathering with friends, walking through the hallways, visiting a certain classroom or a specific spot on the campus, etc. It’s a difficult pill to swallow – the fact that we never got to say a proper goodbye. Many students like to wait until their senior year to finally go all out, except we now have to cope with the reality that we no longer can.
On the brighter side, there are new glints of hope as COVID-19 vaccinations roll out worldwide. If we continue to implement precautionary measures, perhaps we can still get a small taste of what we were supposed to have. For now, it’s important that we check up on others and attempt to make the best of what we have as we experience the heartache for something that never was.
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