Summer Bummer; Student perspective on Senior Week

Madison Fetherston

     As we steadily approach the end of a virtual school year, students look forward to warmer months and the anticipated end of a long year. While schools’ welcome back students and other public spaces become more social, the thoughts of Senior Week are ever-present in our seniors’ minds. 

     A year ago, the class of 2020 had their senior year flipped around at the birth of the pandemic; No dazzling prom, no big graduation, and a hazardous senior week or no senior week at all. A year later, our students are three quarters in and prepared to return slowly to an in-school setting. With all the recent updates on COVID-19, what do our seniors think their summer will be like?

      78 percent of students plan on attending senior week this summer, while 22 percent of our seniors will not be attending senior week due to the prevalence of COVID-19. Of the 78 percent,  many members of the 2021 class agreed that it was necessary to be cautious, but they still plan to have fun. Senior Caroline Ulmer suggests that, “It’s all a little dangerous but if you and the group as a whole make smart decisions, you’ll have a good week. Social distancing and masks are still just as important.” 

      In previous years, groups packed into hotel rooms, roamed the boardwalk, and soaked up all the fun that Ocean City had to offer. Last year, Ocean City became a hot spot for COVID-19 due to the crowds. For this exact reason, senior Elena Schell states, “It’s kind of dumb. Ocean City is not the place to go and add to the numbers.” To lessen the hazards of a possible senior week, smaller groups and a limit to seniors has been suggested. 

     Junior Colin Smith encourages the limit to seniors for senior week as he agrees, “Only seniors should go to senior week. We’ve all had a long year but us juniors still have the possibility of going to events that our seniors didn’t get this year. It’s only fair to let them have their senior week when they didn’t really get a senior year.” 

      In Ocean City, for the span of about three weeks, the beaches tend to be overrun by the graduating class between the end of May and the beginning of June. “With so many people in one place, it’s going to be a risk. Unless everyone is vaccinated or going with very few people, it should not be happening. COVID is not gone and there’s people at home who are at risk.” Senior Sam Meisel reminds her peers.

      Many students and staff agree it’s been a long year that was hard on most everyone. While the thoughts of summer buzz around in conversation it’s important to take action and be smart during the ongoing pandemic. While the class of 2020 and 2021 have both faced an unimaginable senior year, we’ve made it through three quarters, and summer is soon to come.