In mid-March students received instructions to leave school not knowing it would be their last day of high school. The coronavirus pandemic caused an emotional and unconventional second semester for many high school seniors who are focused on milestones such as graduation, prom and sporting events.
“When we left school I was sad and I was thinking to myself that this is the last time I’m going to see everyone,” said Senior Joseph Romo. “Missing classes sounded relaxing but now I miss being able to walk the halls and see my friends.”
Many high schools have transitioned to online learning and students are no longer able to interact with their classmates face-to-face. However, students can still stay in touch with their teachers and classmates through video calls on platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Skype and Facetime.
“Technology has been a great help in keeping me connected to my friends and with my classmates,” said Woinarowicz.
Transitioning to online learning sounded appealing to many high school seniors at first until they realized that this “break” from school would be long-term. Students said they prefer regular schooling as opposed to online so they can see their classmates and attend school events.
The class of 2020 had to cancel many senior traditions such as senior prank, the graduation ceremony and prom. Some schools hope to reschedule these important events, pushing them back to summer. For Santa Margarita students, many senior events including graduation, the bachelorette mass, grad night and prom have been rescheduled to take place at the end of July.
“I think it is cool that our school has organized a week for us to still have our last high school events like prom, senior pilgrimage and graduation,” said Senior Dean Mass. “I’m not sure how it will work out in the end, but it will definitely be like no other graduation week and one to remember.”
The disruption to these sentimental high school events has been an emotional rollercoaster for many seniors. However, many seniors recognize the severity of this pandemic and understand how important it is to social distance and be cautious during this time.
“Covid-19 took away my last months at high school that I was looking forward too including my last high school swim season,” said Senior Bailey Woinarowicz. “But it has shown me how resilient my classmates and I are in the midst of this crisis.”