Senior Slump: The Favorable, The Dreadful and The Disheartening

Class of 2020 Voice Opinions About Sudden End to Last Year


Madison Markunas

Seniors Iriyana Lipkin and Mallory Ramos show school spirit at the first white-out football game of the season in August. Ramos said that moments like these mean everything to seniors looking back on their high school experience and to the year that was left unfinished. “I look forward to any chance we have to celebrate all we’ve been through and to be able to do it together,” Ramos said.

By Addie Dawson, Cedar Park High School

This 2020 school year is the most unique year that many of us have ever lived through, with a global pandemic breaking out right before school let out for spring break on March 13. Little did the students know, once they left for spring break, they’d really be leaving for an early summer vacation, not getting a chance to step foot on campus for the remainder of the school year.

This swift robbery of the school year affects the senior class the most, as they missed out arguably on the most fun part of their senior year; the last part of the semester. The seniors didn’t get to have their last chance to kill it at prom, didn’t get to plan a senior prank to pull, didn’t get a chance to tell the teachers how much they mean to them before they potentially move, and graduation still seems like a far-off dream. Knowing that the whole class was feeling the same emotions regarding the sudden and out of our control end to the school year, getting the opinions of the students was imperative to understanding the true effect this year had on the outlook of the year as a whole.

Given the numerous number of students, opinions and confessions about this odd turn of events range from despair to it being a blessing in disguise. No matter the attitude, every senior has been affected either positively or negatively by the circumstance, one which no one has control over.

Many students are feeling the impact of having those important events that define senior year taken away from them.

“I’m not a fan. We are missing banquets, last days, graduation practice, last half days, it’s the worst,” senior Luke Ferguson said.

For student-athletes, spring seasons have either ended completely or were severely affected by the emergence of this pandemic.

“Well for girls soccer we had a perfect season and went 12-0 in the district and we were supposed to start playoffs, but that’s when the virus hit,” senior center-mid Bella Granada said. “The whole team was pretty devastated and angry because it was what we were working for but we’re trying to make the best of it.”

The girls varsity soccer teams comes out on top in district playoffs and celebrates their win with a homemade banner. “I’m looking forward to the next chapter in life with college,” senior mid-center Bella Granada said. The team’s season has been halted until next year, where they will continue their successes without the four seniors. (Photo by Deeana Nanyes-Iacono)

The boys varsity soccer team was also heading to playoffs as the pandemic hit, canceling their season.

“I’m just super bummed out on all the great memories we are missing out on and we didn’t even get to finish playoffs for soccer,” senior forward Jacob Pell said.

Some students are feeling the weight of separation, not only from quarantine, but from the time that was stolen that would have otherwise been used to come together for the last few times before the seniors embark on new things.

“We were used to seeing each other every day for the past four years, but have to end it alone on computers,” senior Nate Maki said.

That chance of telling those around them that influenced their high school career that they meant that much to them is now gone, many students have expressed frustration in not being able to say what they should have said.

“I think the worst part is not even having a true goodbye,” senior Peyton Prokaski said. “Not even knowing that random day in class was the last time you would probably see the majority of your class again is hard.”

Despite the losses, many students have seen the brighter side to this and have used quarantine for themselves, time with family and de-stressing from the demands of everyday schooling.

I think this whole pandemic will make it feel like we never really finished high school.”

— Aidan Peña

“I think it turned out 50/50; yes not seeing my friends every day and having the luxury to leave freely sucks but I’m glad I got to spend time with my family since I am going off to college soon and being able to enjoy the little things more like family dinners and game nights,” senior Caroline Grasty said.

With all the time on their hands, students are searching to better themselves and use the time away for productive activities.

“A pro to quarantine is having the time to reflect on one’s experiences and moments of high school,” senior Jackie Castillo said. “This serves as a great time to grow as a person and learn many new things like baking, painting, exercising, etc.”

Some even would say they prefer the distance learning over the classroom setting, seeing themselves flourish in the lax deadlines and easy accessibility.

“It’s allowed me to focus more on my school work and college now that I’m not stressed with trying to be at school every day,” senior Janet Jonga said.

A tech-savvy generation would find joy in being able to work from home, and the seniors are no exception.

“For a gamer like me, it’s been really relaxing. And getting to do all my work from my computer is really nice,” senior Bryce Soles said.

I believe that life wouldn’t hit the class of 2020 like this if we all couldn’t handle it.”

— Charles Blankenship

Overall, the attitudes toward the rare circumstances allowed the class of 2020 to recognize the strength in the bonds of friendship, some having known their friends for all 12 years of their schooling. They found the importance of being grateful for the moments that have been made and all the potential memories that the summer will bring.

“We might never see something like this again in our lifetimes, and while it’s unfortunate that we are missing the true end of our senior year, it makes it easier for everyone to realize that in the real world things can change at any time whether expected or not, and there’s something beautiful about that,” senior Samuel Cadena said. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet and get to know so many cool people over the years, and it’s these same people that have shaped not just me as a person, but my goals and passions that could influence the rest of my life.”

This story was originally published on Wolfpack on May 19, 2020.