Covid-19’s Impact on Class Of 2020 and 2021 Seniors

Kennadi Gerchow

    Covid-19, for better or for worse, has affected everyone. The virus has changed the way so many live their lives and how one might go about their day. The necessary social distancing has resulted in schools switching to online. This keeps students safe and healthy but has had a big impact on many high school seniors. 

    When schools first closed in March of 2020, Students thought of it as a break from school but seniors later realized that their high school years were over. “When quarantine first started I was a little sad not to be able to go to school but I had no idea at the time that I wouldn’t ever be going back to high school,” said Calista Rippo, who graduated last year. Seniors were not able to go back to school and many were sad to have their year cut short. Juniors were happy to have a break from school but nobody was prepared for how long it would last.  “Honestly I was really excited when we went into school shut down my junior year, because who wouldn’t be. However, I never would have thought how long we wouldn’t be in school for, and how much I would actually miss school.” said senior, Lauren Zastrow. Many were hopeful that schools would be open for the 2020-2021 school year, but this was not the case. 

   Both classes had a rough time in their senior year. Focusing on last year’s graduating class, they didn’t see this coming. They missed out on the last part of their final year in high school. “Covid honestly was terrible for me. It took away a lot of things that I was looking forward to, but I know that it is what it is and you just have to keep going,” said Mckenna Fialdini, who graduated last June. Class of 2021 is currently experiencing what it’s like to miss out on so many experiences and memories. Many are nervous that they won’t go back to school and won’t get a senior year at all.  Virtual learning has also been difficult for many and it has been hard to stay motivated. “Not being able to talk to any of my teachers in person or meet with them has been pretty hard. I feel like emailing them and them responding a full day later isn’t very beneficial. I just miss the in-person interaction. I also don’t ask many questions because it’s harder for me to speak over zoom” said Senior Makenna Bachler.

    The senior class of 2020 are now college freshmen and many of them are also finding it hard to stay motivated. “My freshman year has just felt much like the end of my senior year, it’s hard to stay motivated and the workload is a lot. It’s hard to learn virtually as well,” said college freshman Dylan Leininger. College freshmen who have moved out of state, are still learning virtually. An ASU freshman was asked about how Covid-19 has impacted her first year in college and it seems to be difficult. “Although I was still able to move for college, Covid-19 has had a big impact on my freshman year because all of our classes are online and there are super strict guidelines we have to follow every day. I feel like this has made it harder to make friends especially from moving out of state,” said college freshman Calista Rippo. Current college freshmen are finding it difficult to make friends at new schools when learning online. Current high school seniors are also finding college applications hard because they can’t go on college tours.

    Seniors from both classes have lost so many experiences they were looking forward to and none of them have gotten a “normal” senior year. Many find it hard not being able to say goodbye to their high school years in the traditional way and are nervous about what’s to come in the future. “I am afraid we might still be in quarantine going into my freshman year at college,” said senior, Lauren Zastrow. Throughout the last nine months, expectations have been shifted and both senior classes can testify for that. Covid-19 has impacted the world dramatically, and students are definitely not exempt from that.