The spring semester of high school is usually filled with preparations for prom and graduation, planning summer beach trips with friends and confirming decisions for the following year. However, this year high school seniors have seen a wrench the size of a pandemic thrown into what they had been expecting.
Thanks to COVID-19, proms have been canceled, graduation ceremonies are in limbo and those final classes are wrapping up online. There haven’t been any in-person classes since March. High school seniors are having to deal with the fact that their senior year will not be like any other.
“It’s very upsetting seeing everything canceled. In the long run it’s for the best. It’s necessary,” says Tyler Matthews, a senior at Mauldin High School. “I’m just trying to power through it.”
Matthews and Ben Dority, also a senior at Mauldin High School, are missing out on their senior soccer season as well.
“It definitely hurts to have what we were looking for most canceled,” Dority says. He says that his school and Greenville County Schools have worked hard given the circumstances and difficult decisions.
Riley Wasse, a senior at Wade Hampton High School, is also supportive of her school’s decisions at this time, saying her school has been trying to figure things out for the students along with the help of some parents. Still, there’s an air of melancholy about what could have been.
“At the beginning I think everyone was in denial, like this wasn’t really happening,” Wasse says. As the final day of distance learning comes closer and there’s a realization of not going back, she says, “It’s kind of sad that it’s now over. It’s just crazy that we didn’t know it was goodbye.”
Matthews and Dority emphasize that a lot of what seniors are going to be missing out on were meant to be rewards for their hard work and for finishing this part of their education. Dority says people should take a moment and imagine what it would be like for them to have events during their senior year be canceled and “have it all taken.”
“We worked really hard,” says Matthews. “That’s why it’s such a big deal to us.”