Tough Year For Seniors
Last updated 5/24/2021 at 11:39am
The last 15 months have been difficult for high school seniors. No, they did not have to suffer the physical ravages and death inflicted by COVID-19 that senior citizens faced. However, they did face something most of us did not – the loss of one of the most anticipated, rewarding, enjoyable and transitional years of their lives.
Most high school seniors look forward to their senior year, a time when they hold the top leadership positions in the school, on clubs or on their athletic teams. A time when they receive some privileges, whether it’s their choice of parking spaces, selecting their class schedules, or having more slots allocated to them on the Homecoming Court or Miss Bengal Pageant. A time when they get to show the skills they have honed over the past three years in school, whether it be in the school musical, in marching band, in academic competitions or on the athletic fields and courts. A time when they can enjoy proms, trips and other activities special to, and for, them.
It is “their time.” But they were cheated of “their time.” Since school activitties abruptly ended last March and only began to return in an abbreviated fashion in November, many seniors did not get a chance to enjoy their favorite activities, to display their skills. Spring sports athletes, for example, may have played a dozen games in the last two years, roughly a quarter of the games they would usually play.
Seniors also missed out on the day-to-day personal contact with their friends and the opportunity to cement or make new friendships. It’s like having your beloved adult brother plan a two-week visit only to have him leave in the middle of the night after one week.
They faced the additional stresses of determining their future career paths and filling out college applications, financial aid forms and other paperwork without the support previous seniors received. Oftentimes, they were on their own. And there were those seniors who faced other COVID-19 related issues. They saw grandparents become ill or die, or saw parents lose their jobs or have their incomes severely cut. Some of them became surrogate parents and teachers for their younger siblings because both parents worked and in-person classes were only available two days a week.
In today’s issue, we honor this year’s graduating seniors. When the last name is called at each graduation this year, we should give them a rousing ovation for their perseverance, despite having so much taken away in what is usually a very special year.