Through the Eyes of the Senior Class of 2021


Image by yabayee from Pixabay

Talitha Allen, Staff Writer

The year 2020 has been very hard.

Starting in March 2020 when the world began to go on lockdown through August 2020, I hoped and prayed that we’d go back to school, and things would be normal. It’s my senior year; all I wanted was for it to be normal. The class of 2020 thought they had it bad; well, 2021 is worse. So here I am, looking for the latest thoughts. I needed to see from a different point of view, not just my own. I needed to gain some insight of not only the people around me but seniors everywhere: 

Because of the pandemic, Covid-19 has affected the class of 2021 tremendously. How does it feel to be a senior, in the class of 2021?

Jalayah Henderson, (Hillcrest):
“It is boring, terrible, and it doesn’t even feel like I am a senior. We haven’t done one thing; we didn’t even take pictures.” 

Jimmilia Garth, (Bremen):
“Well, for me or almost any other senior – Abnormal would be the best term. Never in a million years would I have ever thought my senior year would be completely taken away. This is the year where we’re supposed to have the most fun and just soak up the whole high school experience before we graduate and never get to see it again. Although I’m doing good in my classes and my grades are good, it is so difficult to stay motivated and not give up through these weird times. My teachers are a big help and they try their best to help us through remote learning. To be honest, I just wish it would be over already.” 

Desireé Dade, (Hillcrest):
Desireé: It’s honestly heartbreaking for me. As my senior year is coming to an end, I’ve just been thinking about how we literally got nothing this year! NOTHINGGGGG! Nobody seems to care that it’s our senior year, and we’re missing out on every final bonding moment and last high school memory either. Being at home was nice for a week or so but I just feel so stagnant and like a robot! Wake up, be on my phone or iPad all day, then stay on it AFTER to do work for hours, attempt to have me time, go to sleep and repeat. It’s caused such a lack of motivation.” 

Me: “I totally understand honestly and truly. It’s like day after day, same thing. We would’ve been taking in the end of the first semester with our friends, and enjoying our last moments with our early graduates, like yourself.” 

Desireé: “Literally like it’s just a cycle, depressing and draining. Yes, I am honestly heartbroken.”

Ajah White, (Mother McAuley):
“It sucks not being able to take the ACT and the SAT because of COVID and the tests continuously getting cancelled. My family has been preparing for prom for years and now we’re not even sure if I will have one. I don’t get to have last moments with some of my friends and teachers from school because we don’t get to see each other all of the time like before. We don’t get to socialize the way we used to and everything feels restricted and confined.” 

Loreal Bonds, (Hillcrest):
“As a senior of the class of 2021, COVID-19 has devastated my life and my fellow classmates. You grow up here and how high school is the turning point of your life and how that is when you find yourself, the only thing that was welcome with open arms was more anxiety even depression instead of worrying about what I’m wearing to the pep rally , Or buy my prom dress I’m worrying about my mental health and how to balance my life while having class at home. I understand that we have to be safe in this for everyone’s best interest but I feel like that I will never get this moment of my life back and I won’t be able to tell my kids how much my senior year changed me well I can I can tell them that it changed me for the worst and maybe the best is to come when I go to college or when I am an adult.” 

Gloria Agblami, (Hillcrest):
“Being a senior during the pandemic has been extremely devastating. On top of all the stress that we face from worrying about graduating, college, and deciding what we want to do with the rest of our lives we know have to worry about a pandemic. We’ve been robbed of all the rewards that come with senior year. Overall this school year has been so draining and aside from a few teachers it doesn’t seem like our school cares about lifting our spirits.” 

Jen Le, (Rich Township Highschool):
I feel like a lot of experiences have been taken away from me. I haven’t been able to attend any pep rallies, my senior homecoming nor was i able to do spirit week for my last year.

Aaron Crawford, (Hillcrest):
It doesn’t feel right. I feel like we’ve been truly robbed of a REAL senior year because of covid and it’s sad. Instead of experiencing this all in person together with fun activities we’re at home on computers all day which is destroying some of us mentally. 

Marcus Douglas, (Hillcrest):
MD: “It doesn’t matter to me, it really feels like a regular year of school. People trip about the moments we won’t have, but I’m like if that’s the best memories of my life in high school then I’m not living right so all in all it feels great, it’s what you make it.” 

Me: “I think that your point of view is very interesting.” 

MD: “Yea, definitely” 

Me: “For you, was there ever a moment where you were crushed about your football season being snatched away?” 

MD: “Understood that at some point that I would play football again whether high school in the spring or college or whatever. I had an understanding that the reason I wasn’t playing football was out of my control, and I was a part of the thousand other athletes, so it’s really how you react to it cause pandemic don’t last a lifetime.” 

Me: “Okay, thank you for that insight.” 

MD: “And if you work your whole [life] to play high school football you are working for the wrong thing.” 

Andrew Love, (Brother Rice):
AL: The pandemic has taken away the opportunity to enjoy school by separating the students and not being able to be with all our classmates. We aren’t able to bond with each other even during free periods such as lunch. We can only have four students at a table.  Also, I’ll like to add that it has taken a lot away from senior athletes especially football and basketball. This has tremendously ruined the chances of seniors being able to play the sport they love at the next level. 

Me: So, you guys have been physically in school?

AL: Yea. 

Me: The entire first semester? 

AL: We are hybrid. So sometimes inside – sometimes outside and like we switch off days with two groups. 

Me: That is interesting. 

Kadhar, (Proviso East high school):
“Honestly I feel like it is the worst thing ever especially for us seniors, this year was supposed to be our prime year, our year of joy. I feel like the school administration could’ve done better than just online school.” 

Hope, Joliet Catholic Academy (JCA):
“As a Senior in the class of 2021, I feel the easiest way to describe the experience as of right now is “weird.” I say weird because it isn’t any harder or easier. My school uses a hybrid model where the student body is separated by last name alphabetically. A certain group is in school Monday and Thursday and the other is Tuesday and Friday and Wednesday we are all e-learning. With that in mind, it’s difficult to really grasp material in class like we used to, we are constantly adapting. We are so used to following the schedule set out for school before the school year started. Now, it’s like walking in the dark, no plans are guaranteed so you never know what you could be doing tomorrow.”