Senior Events Fulfill Final-Year Expectations

Rebekah Lindsay, News Editor

     For senior Katie Ingersoll, walking through the doors leading into the third building from the student parking lot was once routine; this time it was surreal. “It was weird going back into the same place as a different person and feel like nothing had changed,” said Ingersoll. 

     Ingersoll attended the Senior Yard Sign Giveaway held in lieu of senior advisory last Wednesday, March 31st. The giveaway, held in the main gym, was the second in a series of on-campus events exclusive to seniors.

     The first event was a Tailgate Party held on March 21st and the next is a Cap and Gown Distribution planned for April 21st. Scheduled for the 21st of the month, these two events reflect a year-long pattern of drive-throughs celebrating the class of 2021 on the 21st of each month.

     Senior Emily Fettig has frequented each event so far and has appreciated the opportunities despite pandemic limitations. “It’s been a good way to connect with the school and the other senior class members, really, to feel like I’m a senior,” said Fettig.

     Like Ingersoll, Fettig felt the peculiar feeling while attending her first on-campus senior event, the Tailgate Party. “It was weird. I was driving the route I would take to go to school and thought to myself, ‘I haven’t been here in a while,’” said Fettig.

     At the Tailgate Party, seniors had the opportunity to hang out with friends while eating Ezell’s and competing for prizes in Bingo and raffles.

     According to senior Ray Sapru, the chicken and mac-and-cheese were “unexpectedly good,” but others like senior Chloe Koh opted to bring their own snacks.

     Overall, Koh enjoyed the way the party added excitement to an otherwise “one-note” year. “The tailgate was fun because I hung out with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time; it was really good to catch up face-to-face,” said Koh. With online learning, some students notice the bond that comes from going to school with people is strained. “Connecting with people is hard still because I used to always make a lot of friends through like shared classes,” said Koh.

      Similarly, Sapru found it weirdly fun to see people he hadn’t seen in person recently and thought the event’s setup was conducive to both conversation and safety. “They spread out each car, but they were still close enough so you could stay with close or near to your friends,” said Sapru.

   For many seniors, these events are the culmination of the past four years. “This is the last time we will ever be in high school,” said Fettig. More than hanging out with friends, these events mark a milestone. “Seeing my sister and other seniors in past years go through these special events made me very to do them myself,” said Fettig.

     In a year marked with uncertainty, these events are providing seniors with that air of finality and closure to the end of their K-12 careers. “Senior year is supposed to be a time you spend with your high school friends before everyone goes to college or does their own thing. But in the past year due to the lack of interaction, it’s hard to celebrate that you’re a senior,” said Sapru.

     Despite the differences from preconceived expectations about what a typical senior year is supposed to look like, students remain grateful for the school’s efforts in creating new ways to celebrate. “I mean obviously it’s not the same but I’m happy, happy that we got this much,” said Sapru.

     Looking forward, seniors are looking for more ways to connect. “When I saw my advisory teacher [at the Yard Sign Giveaway], we ended catching up. I lost track of time but it was very nice to catch up with him,” said Sapru.

     With graduation scheduled for June 16th at Pop Keeney Stadium and Prom confirmed by district officials—although pending state approval—students are ready to feel like seniors. “I’m hoping the future events be as normal as they can be given the situation, so we can end the year strong as a senior class, and just fulfill all of the expectations of the end of senior year,” said Fettig.