A Senior Year Like No Other

The Class of 2021 opens up about what it’s like being a senior during a pandemic.


Melissa Ponce

SENIOR YEAR DURING A PANDEMIC- During previous years, seniors looked forward to activities such as grad night, homecoming, and prom as they reached their final months as highschoolers. Yet due to the pandemic, numerous senior activities have been cancelled, leaving the Class of 2021 with mixed feelings. “I was looking forward to prom because that’s the big event we are all looking forward to and saving money for,” Daniela Gonzalez, a senior, said.

Melissa Ponce, Editor in Chief of Design

Many students imagine senior year to be the best year of high school. However, for seniors all across the country, the coronavirus pandemic created a drastic shift and stirred feelings of disappointment.


Because of online learning, seniors are removed from daily interactions with both friends and teachers. Being at home also means that students find themselves more easily distracted. “We are not face-to-face and there are so many distractions [at home]. My phone is right next to me and I have to remember to put it away so I can focus on the lessons,” Daniela Gonzalez, a senior, said.


Paired with the distractions of a home environment, some seniors are faced with additional responsibilities. Kenneth Lara, a senior, assists his younger sister who just began middle school with online learning. On top of that, he works anywhere from four to eight hours at a fast-food chain restaurant on school days and on the weekends. “Schools have to realize that with everything going on, for some people, school isn’t their main priority; they have other personal matters to take care of,” Lara said. 

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Lara describes that with the added stresses of distance learning, he would much rather participate in a hybrid-model. “At school, I would be able to focus more and I think it would be better because learning is about having that connection with the person who is teaching you, and over a screen, you don’t get that,” Lara said.


Before the pandemic hit, many seniors were looking forward to events such as grad night, homecoming, and prom. Yet, with the current number of coronavirus cases, these activities seem unlikely to take place. “I was looking forward to prom because that’s the big event we are all looking forward to and saving money for,” Gonzalez said.


Instead, students are left to tackle the stresses of senior year such as applying to colleges during unprecedented conditions. “There are those moments where you just need help, but you can’t go after school to talk to the college counselor. But I am glad I was able to get those [college applications] done, and I am proud of all the seniors,” Anahy Barajas, a senior, said.

There are those moments where you just need help, but you can’t go after school to talk to the college counselor…

— Anahy Barajas

Mr. Velasco, the senior counselor, agrees that distance learning poses new obstacles for seniors applying to college. “The [MACES] Class of 2021 is by far the largest class applying to college and the fact you have to do everything online takes away the personal interaction,” Velasco said.


With the high amount of students applying to college, Velasco believes it is fair to give seniors the priority of returning to campus should conditions allow schools to adopt a hybrid model. “[Seniors] should be given priority because from a counselor standpoint it will help the student and counselor cooperate efficiently,” Mr.Velasco said. 


There is no doubt that the Class of 2021 faces a year unlike any other. “In the end, it would be great to have an in-person graduation because you’ve been going to school for that one moment, and honestly, that one moment is something no one can ever take away from you,” Lara said.