By Anushka Rajmohan
Along with numerous other events, senior year is in the category of countless normal proceedings and special occasions that have been compromised due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated forced closures. Although the class of 2020 felt the full force of this disappointment last year, the class of 2021 has been having their own unique experiences and difficulties this strange senior year.
As a general rule of thumb, senior year tends to be the most exciting for high schoolers, with various events including the senior trip to Disney, senior prom, and of course, graduation day. On top of that, there is the bittersweetness involved in experiencing certain other events for the last time such as Blue and White Night and dances. Even more, senior year is the final year in high school, a year to spend with friends and enjoy the year after three years of hard work. This senior year, however, has looked different from the prior years.
Starting the year fully virtual, members of the class of 2021 had an unusual first last day of the year. Due to obvious safety reasons, Blue and White Night was cancelled, so all students lost an opportunity that usually encouraged a friendly rivalry between the upperclassman and the underclassman in a night of sports and competition. Instead, this year, Blue and White Night was spent as just another October night in everyone’s own homes.
Ruhani Gill, a current senior experiencing this strange senior year, comments on this:
“I feel like there hasn’t been a lot of balance this year without all the experiences you look forward to as a senior. I knew the first half of the year would be very stressful because of college applications on top of school, but I had thought it would be more balanced with all the fun events we would have been able to experience.”
Ruhani is not alone in these thoughts either. Many seniors were looking forward to these fun events in order to achieve a sort of balance for the last year of their high school experience, and with only school work thus far, it has been a disappointment to say the least.
In addition to this, the fall dance (also known as Homecoming during some years) did not occur either. As a lover of these dances and someone who had attended all of them the past three years, Ruhani found it odd to miss the time in which she and her friends would spend four hours of a weekend night dancing and enjoying themselves.
With the past few months having been very disappointing and strange, the class of 2021 looks ahead to the next few months, their last days of high school ahead of them.
Kajal Sitapara, a friend of Ruhani and a senior, shares this sentiment as she admits that “It really sucked--the fact that the [last] senior class never got a prom is disappointing.”
Although these seniors have missed activities from more than half of their senior year, the biggest hits of senior year--Disney, prom, and graduation--have yet to pass and the seniors are hopeful for these special and exciting senior events.
Kajal explained that even though this past year has been filled with many disappointments and even if she is skeptical about the possibility of certain events occurring, she still has hopes that she will be able to end this year strongly:
“I’m super excited for Disney and graduation. The way things have been going, however, I don’t think we’ll have a senior prom.”
With so variables and uncertainties, it has undoubtedly been difficult for this class to keep their optimism; still, they are trudging along this bumpy road of a senior year:
Ruhani says that more than anything, she is excited to graduate: “I don’t know about my expectations for the trip or prom, but I am definitely looking forward to graduating. I think either way, it’s exciting to move on to the next part of our lives.”
It makes sense why many of these seniors would be so eager to graduate and start the next chapter of their lives. Although it has been a rough journey for many this year, it is heartening to see some of these seniors still have hope for the rest of their year. Hopefully, their strange and disappointing year will be able to end on a high note so that they can move onto the next page of their lives happily.