Losing your senior year: How seniors have been impacted by distance learning

Due to the current pandemic, seniors grieve the loss of the “classic” high school experience.


Photo by Avery Huffer

As graduation gradually approaches, seniors fear they may not get to experience the ideal ceremony.

When you think of the “classic” high school experience, what comes to mind? Do you think of the football games, spirit weeks, and pep rallies? Is it Homecoming weekend, Clash of Classes, Prom? For most students, this idealized experience is what high school is meant to be. For seniors, this is their last hurrah before heading out into the real world. Now, that rosy reality is staring at the computer screen for hours on end and a virtual diploma.
“I’ll regret not being able to have a Senior Sunrise. Previous seniors from years before always said good things about it, and how it created such a fun environment for our last year. Being able to sit with all my friends, listen to all the hit songs from our childhoods, and reminisce about the past three years with all my classmates sounds like it would’ve been such a good time,” Madison Monroe (12) said.
Due to the current pandemic, all students are feeling the pains of remote learning. We miss our friends, we miss our teachers, we miss our “normal.” For seniors, those grievances are tenfold, as this is their last year to have any of those things. When schools closed on that fateful day of March 13th, the then junior class of 2021 was left feeling awful for their seniors, who just lost the ending half of their year. Now, they find themselves in the same situation.
“Being in the social atmosphere of school is something I never thought I would yearn for so strongly, but that is the part of school I wish we could all experience right now. Looking back, I took all the side conversations while walking down the hallway, small talk outside of homeroom, and jokes in class for granted. It would be so amazing to laugh with all of my friends at the lunch tables again,” Monroe (12) added.
As the time spent in distanced learning stretches on, seniors have found that senioritis had started even earlier this year, having felt the effects as early as March when the grades were frozen, effectively tanking all motivation to work. Now, when we’re sitting at home in our rooms with our beds right there, it’s getting harder and harder to finish the final lap of this 12-year mile we’ve been running. But on a brighter note, there has been some positives to the distanced learning shift. It’s given seniors more time to focus on their work, their families and friends, even themselves.
“When we had in-person school it felt a lot more like a drag, as in it was difficult to enjoy that repetitiveness of waking up early and being stuck in a classroom every day for seven hours. Now school is a little more enjoyable as I like having the freedom being in your own home gives you,” Matthew Rosen (12) said.
Nonetheless, there still is a shining beacon of hope for seniors, and that is the potential of going back in January. Seniors: keep your heads up, we’re almost there. We still have time to celebrate our final year as a Mission Hills Grizzly.