The Covid-19 “Senior Year” Experience
By: Katie Patrick'21
Senior year: the year every kid looks forward to all of high school. Not for my class however, as it was ripped away from us due to covid-19. We lost our last homecoming, sports seasons, Shrine Mont & our year to be the leaders of the school. However, everybody is trying to find ways to make this year as memorable and special as they can.
It is clear that senioritis is already lingering throughout the senior class, the first couple months of school were extremely challanging. We are going through the college process differently than any class before us and balancing classes on zoom, TJ Heck says that “senioritis has set in much quicker than I was anticipating. Learning from a screen makes it harder to retain information and stay engaged, there's nothing tangible in sight.” This is a conversation that goes on with many seniors and their teachers, as it is obvious as the year goes on they are realizing how much.” On top of that knowing how many typical senior traditions that got ripped away from us.
Mr. Mallet came up with the idea of creating a “formal parent committee” that is run by two senior parents, Michelle Go and Liz Murphy. Mrs. Go describes the goal of the parent committee to “honor the senior experience for the class of 2021 in these unprecedented times, providing input regarding the importance of maintaining specific sssas traditions in reimagined formats.” So far, the special senior-kindergarten pinning ceremony and the creation of an outdoor senior lounge are two examples of traditions that the committee has accomplished.
Brooke Kurtz says “I like that they made a senior lounge outside because typically everybody goes there during lunch and I get to see and talk to my classmates that I don't get to see often.” The committee also partnered with the administration on the two senior only in-person chapels, as chapel is a valued tradition in our community. One chapel took place in September where all the seniors got their pins that they would have initially gotten on the first day of school and one was a regular chapel where one of our fellow classmates, Tj Moss, gave a moving chapel talk.
Eva Balistrai says “I was on the vestry for both of the in-person chapel services and looking out at my class all sitting all in mask and 6 ft apart was heartbreaking, but at the same time the feeling of all of us being together was somewhat comforting and made me happy.”
Along with keeping traditions alive, bonding activities have been put on such as a competitive cornhole tournament (planned by the SCA) and a scavenger hunt (planned by parent committee & administration) have taken place throughout the past couple months. Being such a competitive class as it is, every senior that could attend was very into these activities.
Bonding activities like these give us a sense of normalcy, as we are all together in person and not through a screen. Throughout the rest of the year, the parent committee has said that they have already begun conversations about a makeup senior shrine mont trip, prom and commencement week. TJ Heck says that “I only have positive feedback about the events they've hosted for us. It's really neat to see the opportunities they’ve been able to make happen, it's special in a way.”