SCHS seniors reflect on missing out on their final semester of high school


Melina Kritikopoulos

The novel coronavirus and following shelter-in-place orders have cancelled many events like prom, graduation, and other important senior-year events.

In late March, Gov. Gavin Newsom gave the order to shut down all school campuses in California for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This along with the shelter-in-place order is aimed toward helping to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Despite the importance of these safety measures, some SCHS seniors are disappointed they will not be able to experience the end-of-year events, including Battle of the Classes, prom, and grad night.

Senior Class President Naxely Belmont was devastated by the school shut-down. For her, senior year meant solidifying her high school years and spending time with friends. In the face of this new reality, Belmont will be saying many of her goodbyes virtually.

“Having a senior year experience meant creating the best memories,” Belmont said. “It meant having the chance to come together as a class at senior events and taking the time to reflect on our time together, whether it was from the start of freshman year, or for a lot of us, it was saying goodbye to people we’ve known since elementary or middle school.”

In addition to in-person classes, anticipated school events were cancelled. Senior council member Katrina Martinez felt especially disappointed since she and her peers on student council were looking forward to planning those special events.

“We (seniors) don’t get to have a last BOTC, a prom, a goodbye rally, or even a grad night,” Martinez said. “I was definitely looking forward to prom. It was going to be our last dance in high school, and it sucks we all had to miss it.”

Similarly, senior Nicholas Yu was looking forward to spending the last semester making memories and spending time with his friends before they all go to college.

“I feel like I took my past time for granted, but I know that we (my friends and I) will hang out after this pandemic,” Yu said. “True friends stick together no matter what or where they are.”

SCHS seniors were required to take a poll to give their input on the fate of the graduation ceremony. According to an email from Superintendent Stella Kemp, the SCHS faculty will hold a pre-recorded graduation on June 3 to commemorate the class of 2020. Currently, all plans remain strictly virtual, but whether a follow-up ceremony will be held after the pandemic clears up is to be determined.

Senior Audrey Scott believes more than a ceremony is lost without a traditional commemoration since the purpose of a graduation is not only to celebrate but also to give seniors and their families closure on their high school experience.

“A traditional graduation ceremony is such an important part of high school for so many people,” Scott said. “I think as soon as you modify that, in any way really, you influence how seniors are going to internalize their high school experience as a whole, and I think it’s going to leave a lot of people feeling like they never got the high school ending they’d imagined.”

Despite the circumstances, SCHS students have been trying to keep positive and are waiting patiently for what is to come.

“There’s nothing much we can do except hope that this ends soon and that everything returns to normal for seniors and that we get the chance to attend college in the fall,” Belmont said. “To all the underclassmen, I hope they learn from this experience to not take anything for granted, not even small things like walking down the hallways with their friends.”