A Reflection on Spending Senior Year in a Pandemic

Senior Night for Cheerleading and Football at Shea Stadium

By Emily Saul

April 29, 2021

The Norwood Class of 2021 is graduating in just one month, and it’s an understatement to say that the feelings that come with finishing high school, which consisted of only two normal years, are conflicting.

At the end of last school year, I remember watching the seniors go through the major disappointment of almost every event being cancelled for the last part of their senior year. I felt bad for them not only because of what they were going through, but I also felt bad because of how thankful I was that I was a year behind them and just missed the pandemic happening during the best year of high school…right?

From the start of the pandemic, it has seemed like a long chain of disappointment that I still haven’t found the end to yet. After the last three months of school in 2020 were cancelled, more and more let downs kept coming. Sports, family gatherings and even just spending time with friends was something that was impossible to do safely.

The past year has been full of lasts–many of them occurring unknowingly due to the pandemic. Our last homecoming, last football game, last first day, etc. While looking past our childhood and towards the future is exciting, it’s also bittersweet because our senior year is not at all what we expected it to be or what we were hoping for since we were little.

My last homecoming was supposed to be this year, but instead it was my sophomore year. I skipped junior year, expecting to be able to enjoy my senior homecoming, but having one was just impossible in the middle of a pandemic. Luckily, however, we get a modified prom this year, and it won’t be the prom we wanted, but one is better than none.

My last first day was definitely far different from what I wanted. For the first three-fourths of the school year, Norwood schools were all on a hybrid schedule, so half the school (including me) started school three days later then the other half.

The biggest disappointment was how much stress I’ve felt all school year. At the end of my junior year, a year known to be the most stressful and important, I was excited to finally ease up a little on myself and have a simple, relaxed senior year with only two advanced classes. However, online learning put on about 50 times more stress than there should have been. I think the only thing I managed to learn during those first seven months of the school year was that I should never choose to take an online class.

Of course not every single moment of the past year was bad, but looking at how differently things should have gone makes it that much more frustrating.

So, for whatever upcoming class that will be able to experience a normal senior year, please enjoy everything we, as well as the Class of 2020, weren’t able to.