Senior Year During a Pandemic

image from edweek.edu

image from edweek.edu

Since the moment they enter high school, students look forward to senior year and create many expectations of what it will look like. Due to the spread of COVID-19, schools across the country have had to make drastic changes in the way we go about schooling. Students are having to wear masks and socially distance during school hours, and occasionally have to move to virtual school, all while trying to have the closest they can to a normal year. For the class of 2021, this year is far from what they expected for senior year.

Senior year is a year full of activities and experiences like sporting events, senior nights, theater performances, homecoming, prom, and graduation. These things are very important to many students because they have been such a big part of their high school experience as well as part of their identity for four years. This year seniors do not get the opportunity to fully enjoy these activities the way others have in the past due to new restrictions and guidelines schools must follow in order to keep everyone safe. 

The coronavirus is not only causing seniors to wonder what they will have to miss out on this year, it is also causing many to wonder if they will be able to go away for college and live on campus or if schools will turn to online schooling that students will do from home. They are also faced with the struggle of finding the right college fit for them due to campus closures and the inability to tour many campuses due to COVID guidelines. This is beginning to change many opinions on college and higher education. 

Recent polling, done by Third Way and New America, shows that 32% of high school seniors say the pandemic has made them less likely to enroll in college and 40% of seniors that are not enrolling in college say COVID played a significant role in their decision.

Students have faced many challenges and hardships through this school year, but have persevered nonetheless. Their drive and determination is something that will help to get them through their next phase of life, no matter what path they choose to take.