The Effects of Coronavirus on High School Seniors

Paola Hernandez Olvera, Co-editor-in-Chief

As the news of the Coronavirus first emerged, classes, public gatherings, events, masses, etc., went on as usual. The world didn’t think too much at first. However, the threat of the  virus soon proved more serious as schools started to close, public gatherings and major events like concerts were canceled.

The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has also affected traditional high school events, including senior proms and graduations. Senior year of high school is supposed to be an epic celebration of a 13-year experience.

“I was really looking forward to walking the stage, my first year in the honor band and competing against other schools,” senior Felipe Carrillo said. “Knowing that our last day of school very well could have been the day before spring break makes me very uncomfortable. I was excited to finish this year in person.”

Prom, graduation and senior trips create memories that students can cherish for the rest of their lives. However, it seems as though the Class of 2020 will not get to experience that this year.

“The countdown to prom and graduation was something I looked forward to since freshman year,” senior Chelsea Larson said. “Since [all events] are on hold, I don’t know what’s going on.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for all schools in Texas to remain closed until May 4 at a conference on March 31. Abbott’s announcement means that students and teachers alike will have to continue with online classes until further notice.

“[Online classes] are confusing if I’m being honest,” Larson said. “Teachers either have classes at the same times, which makes you have to make a decision about which class to go to, or their virtual hours are so sporadic throughout the day. I honestly miss the classrooms.”

Many high schools around the nation have canceled their proms and graduation ceremonies, and are instead opting for delivering diplomas via mail. However, Principal Michael Arreola has proposed a discussion group led by himself, for seniors to voice their opinions and ideas regarding possible solutions or alternatives to prom, graduation and other senior activities.

“I like [principal Arreola’s approach],” Carrillo said. “I’d be interested to see how and when the events discussed will take place. I doubt that the events will get canceled, but I think they will get delayed.”

Although it seems that the Class of 2020’s senior year is taking a turn for the worse, senior Jacob Cortez said he understands why these measures are being taken.

“As much as it sucks knowing that we’re still stuck at home, I think it’s the right call,” Cortez said. “People don’t listen, and they don’t understand that it’s not really safe to go to school with all of this going on. Hopefully, this helps the whole situation go away.”

Seniors still have hope that the situation will get better and things will eventually work out in the end. Cortez, Carrillo and Larson all said that their hopes are to return to school and finish strong.

“It sucks,” Larson said. “This was our year. 2020 is the year that we came out on top, we finally were graduating. This year was big for changes, for high school, for ourselves and our identities.”