Every year a class of students gets to experience their senior year. A send off year to college where people turn from children into adults. Truthfully it is an experience everybody should have for themselves, but for this year’s graduates, that dream was cut down at an awkward angle.
At the end of last year our Juniors had their year cut short due to the Covid outbreak leaving their next and last year up to interpretation whether or not they would be going back or not. For 6 months, seniors endured online learning, a complete switch in the learning method. Dances were canceled, ASB was limited in interaction with students, clubs were restrained to fit online, social life was dependent on screens, some thrived yet others suffered, and it wasn’t up to us. Senior Parker Brandon and distance learning student sums it up as “the whole experience of concluding my high school career is bittersweet.” It was once a promised school experience blown away by a single world altering event.
However, fortunately with the help of our community and the vaccine, 75% of students were able to return to in person learning for the last 3 months. Finally students could make up all that distance and time in order to at least retain a social life and for seniors it was their only true three months before moving on to greater things. Yet through all the enduring experiences our “senior class has come out stronger on the other side of this school year than we started,” reflects Pirate of the Year Kaylee Garcia.
The next step for our seniors is of course college. The ending point of a long campaign through the schooling system as it is where we will transition into adulthood. After struggling to get used to a new style of learning over the past year, for students “it will be harder to adapt to the difference in education levels from high school to college,” as Garcia puts it. Even in the world of sports, “college scouts wouldn’t be able to come to games and look for talent,” says senior athlete Adrian Frere. Fortunately “there are many ways to keep playing sports that you love,” such as joining an “intramural team,” or walking “onto their college’s team and giving it their best shot.”
In terms of the societal part of it, “there’s definitely a sense of separation when you can’t really get an idea of student life or the attitude of the people who work at or attend that school,” says Brandon. This is especially apparent when the “vast majority of us will have to adjust to entirely new social scenes outside of the central coast bubble.”
However, concluding the end of this year Garcia claims it as more of “a learning experience” and “we seniors need to continue learning about ourselves and experiencing the world to continue growing into successful adults.”