What it was REALLY like to be a Senior this year

It started off easy enough, but the year was anything but a cakewalk for seniors


Claire Johnson, Feature Writer

When the school year began, the prospect of distance learning was, to me, actually an optimistic one. I was coming off of a summer full of fun with my close group of friends, going on day trips, having fun together whenever we could. Distance learning provided a much smoother transition for this lifestyle, seemingly allowing us more flexibility to make life feel normal in the way we had adjusted to Covid. We assumed, too, that we would definitely be back to school by the beginning of the second semester. Might as well enjoy the benefits that distance learning offered to us while we could!

At the beginning of school, in the Fall, distance learning was really a walk in the park – at least for me. I figured out relatively quickly how to navigate online classes and instruction, and most teachers were very understanding about any difficulties. I was able to keep hanging out with my friends, which provided me with that sense of normalcy. Often my few friends and I would get together to do online school together so we could take our lunches/after-school times together. Distance learning was definitely something I had come to terms with. 

Come winter – come finals – school became increasingly difficult. Teachers became much more strict seeing as we had settled into our routines, and assignment loads became much heavier. The relaxation into this routine and the dire circumstances of Coronavirus spread at this time, made it clear that we were not going back to school nearly as soon as we thought. The idea of losing all my senior activities and having a completely uneventful end to my public school career began to settle in on me. I pressed through to winter break, with not much hope I would return to school following the holidays, perhaps for the whole year. 

Springtime brought change and an eventual return to school. At this point, it was becoming clear to me that the comprehension of my class material was not nearly as high as in previous years. I was maintaining good grades, but still struggling academically due to the lack of full understanding brought about by digital instruction. Even when I returned back to school on certain days, I kept struggling albeit with an acceptance now of the uneventfulness of my senior year. Senioritis is definitely in full swing at this point, with the smallest pushes of motivation keeping my academic career moving towards the finish line. 

Now the end of the year is here. And while I had come to accept this as the reality of the school year supposed to be the most eventful of all of them, it still, now, does not feel real to me. It did not hit me until the start of graduation proceedings/practice that this is really the end. This ending, oddly, feels abrupt and unsettling. I had not seen hardly any of my peers until virtual graduation. But I guess this is really it. My senior year was not a bad one. I grew immensely as a person and both my personal and intellectual skills were challenged and enhanced through the digital learning experience. The most important thing this year taught me was independence and figuring out how to make things work. When life gives you lemons, you keep persevering, keep struggling, keep trying your hardest, till you finally make it, and learn how to make lemonade. This year has been incredibly formative for me, despite the differences in comparison to its usual format. I will forever look back on high school with an immense fondness and with a unique perspective on what it meant to be a high schooler.