By J1 Reporter Alexis Ketcham
The last quarter of senior year is one of the most unforgettable times of a high school student’s life. It’s filled with prom, graduation, spring sports, memories and many more “lasts.” These few months will be remembered for the rest of their lives. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Class of 2020 will not have part of this traditional ending to high school.
Seniors across the globe are missing out on everything they’ve been looking forward to since freshman year. For Marian girls, it’s additionally saddening missing out on traditions such as Color Block, Field Day, Declaration Day and the numerous graduation events.
“I was most looking forward to Declaration Day because ever since freshman year, I have been waiting to stand up in front of the school and say where I will be going to college,” senior Ava Matthies said.
Being able to sleep in and learn from the comfort of your home may seem like a great idea until it happens so suddenly and unexpectedly. No one in the Marian community knew our last day before spring break would possibly be the last day of regular classes for the school year. The temporary cancellation of school has caused many anticipated events to be postponed. It is unsure whether prom or graduation will occur as originally scheduled, but hopes are high that the tradition of Field Day will somehow be preserved as the Class of 2020 strives for a victory before leaving Marian.
Students have transitioned to online school, which has been challenging for many seniors who may never attend school in-person with their classmates again. “The hardest part is that I didn’t get to say goodbye to so many of my friends that I never see outside of school,” Matthies said. She said she does not like online school and feels teachers are giving more busy work.
Another roadblock seniors are facing is the shutdown of college campuses. Since tours have been cancelled, some seniors must decide on a school without receiving a proper tour or visiting the campus. This causes many anxieties and hardships in seniors who are still in the process of making this major decision.
“I haven’t decided yet, and it’s been harder because some of my visits were cancelled and I have to do online tours. I also have to do online scholarship interviews,” senior Grace Olsen said. Just like classes, colleges have transitioned their enrollment tools to online to help seniors make the final step toward choosing a school.
Those who have already chosen a college may have to apply for scholarships or sign letters of intent online as well. Senior Adrianna Krueger recently had her signing of intent for her dance scholarship to Midland University at home. “It was a great experience. Although my coach couldn’t attend, I still had the support of my family and had fun decorating the table,” Krueger says. She wanted to still try to have the traditional college signing, although the environment was a bit different.
It’s unfair for seniors to miss out on everything a high school senior should be a part of, but it’s important to “focus on the positive and be grateful for the memories you’ve made at Marian,” Olsen said. Although seniors are losing out on many experiences, they are the first seniors to go through something like this and are facing the final stages of high school in ways no other class has.
“I know that this class is strong and even though their year may be ending differently than they had hoped, I know that they will be stronger in spite of these circumstances and will go on to do amazing things in our world,” senior class moderator Megan Piernicky said. The Class of 2020 has ultimately gained valuable life skills throughout this difficult time and will always be remembered as the class who ended their senior year virtually.
Readers: Please consider sharing notes of support to our seniors in the comments below!