By Olivia Espinoza
The class of 2021 has lost even more than the class of 2020 due to the pandemic. We will not be able to experience our last school dances, football games, and even the ability to see our friends in person. Of course, the stay-at-home orders are geared to keep us safe, so we understand losing out to these iconic memories. However, we still feel that we are being forgotten by the school’s administration.
“My first semester of senior year felt empty and disregarded,” senior Gabrielle Barron said.
The final year of high school was supposed to be the last time one experiences freedom from adulthood. To senior Abigail Rivas, senior year has felt like a fast forward towards those responsibilities.
“It doesn’t feel like high school at this point. I’m 18, have a car and a job. I’m an adult that also has to have high school classes. It is depressing to not get any closure after working towards this my whole life,” Rivas said.
Senior Sean Lasher expressed the emotions that most seniors in our position can relate to.
“I feel stressed, overworked, and unheard. The online learning experience has been anxiety-inducing. Really I just feel isolated and expendable,” Lasher said.
For many seniors, “senioritis,” which usually begins in the spring semester has been looming the entire year. Many seniors feel a lack of motivation fueled by the minimal acknowledgement for their efforts.
“Every day feels the same and I felt very unmotivated. I had senioritis right from the start,” senior Cristina Grigore said.
Many seniors have shared ideas or wishes for safe senior events, academic needs, financial considerations, and even displays of appreciation.
Some even mentioned only allowing seniors to go back to in-person learning. However, this may not be possible in the future if COVID-19 cases fail to decrease.
Many seniors favor safely organized senior events. Some have suggested having a senior picnic, which could be made possible by signing up for specific days that would allow students to socially distance.
Others touched base on how they would like graduation to be operated, sharing thought out plans in order to make the event as safe as possible.
“Have four days of graduation so each event is socially distanced and all of our graduation tickets will be limited to immediate family members only. So, everyone in the bleachers would be able to social distance as well,” senior Daisy Ramirez said.
When it comes to academic needs, some seniors feel grades and finals should be treated with more leniency and understanding.
“We’ve had students whose families have been exposed to the virus or caring for them. Administration should be more considerate at the moment considering some students may be dealing with depression,” senior Adrian Munguia said.
Others revealed that the pandemic led to financial instability and having to pay for graduation attire should not be required. Some suggested lowering the prices so the possibility of continuing the tradition could be more realistic.
“Even if students have the choice to not buy the graduation gear, it’s something that we seniors would like to have. At least keep some tradition in this celebration,” senior Aurora Torres said.
Generally, students liked the idea of receiving yard signs and special cords for graduation representing how we successfully graduated high school during a pandemic.
Not feeling heard can have large impacts.
“Aftering receiving little to nothing so far this year, if administration actually takes our experiences into consideration, I would finally feel heard after feeling overlooked for so long,” senior Sofi Herrera said.
The pandemic has taken away so many experiences and opportunities from the senior class, and this fall semester has made these losses even more noticeable. However, there’s still time to make up for lost memories and failed support. Giving seniors the long-overdue treatment we deserve will help us reach the closure we need.