Seniors hold out hope for event-filled final semester


Photo courtesy Val Zhao

Senior Val Zhao participates in Stage Crew in February 2020 as she would have this year if Covid-19 did not exist.

The class of 2021’s senior year has been spent at home in a cycle of online classes and watching senior traditions that they were greatly looking forward to get cancelled, event after event. As the first semester of their final year comes to a close, seniors hold out hope for second semester. 

Due to Covid-19, students have spent the year participating in home activities instead of enjoying senior year plans. “All the movies and shows we watch where we would be able to experience ‘cool’ senior parties and celebrations just won’t happen for us. It’s just been tedious with a bunch of us sitting at home, watching movies of what we could have had,” senior Beatriz Kim said. 

Student groups such as Senior Planning have made attempts at coordinating events that wouldn’t end up compromising the health of students. “In Splanning, we’ve been trying to get some events in, following CDC guidelines, but most have been shot down and it’s even worse when we see other schools in MCPS having things like socially-distanced senior sunrise,” senior Val Zhao said.  

Missing out on nearly all of the plans they were looking forward to makes it hard for seniors to stay motivated and spirited. “I try not to think about it too much, but it makes me feel really sad that I’m not gonna experience the ‘once in a lifetime’ experience,” Kim said. 

As graduation and the end of the school year begin to near, seniors are looking forward to the possibility of being able to attend an in-person graduation. “I’ve been feeling great since this challenging school year is half over. I’m really looking forward to graduation and hope things can settle down to normal eventually. This year has had a lot of ups and downs and I’m glad that it’s all seeming worthwhile,” senior Noellemarie De-Chalus said. 

With the potential of vaccines being distributed in the next few months under the new presidential administration, these events seem more likely to be carried out before the year ends. “Hopefully with the incoming stricter guidelines under Biden and the rollout of vaccines, we can get some in-person events and I wouldn’t be opposed to an extension of the school year just to cram in all these traditions we’ve been anticipating our entire public education careers,” Zhao said.