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Postcards From The Pandemic: Senior Year Blues

Homeroom: A Return to Learning

This story is part of ideastream's special series examining the challenges and perils of returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

As schools around the state begin their fall semesters, rising seniors were looking forward to their final year of high school. But for many, it won’t be the year of dances, pep rallies or Friday night football games. 

Cara Harmon, a rising senior at Lakewood High School, was looking forward to Homecoming and seeing her friends again. But her school, like many others, is starting the academic year entirely online. 

Classroom Zoom

Right now for the whole district they’re planning on starting all remote so we’re at home five days a week doing Zoom calls with our teachers. 

I don’t feel too good about the remote school plan because we’ve already experienced most of it for the whole fourth quarter. I’m sure it’ll be improved a little more because it wasn’t so sudden and we’ve had time to plan it out, but I’d rather be sitting in the classroom with a teacher in person getting to be with other students, getting to see my friends. So it’s kind of tough just sitting in the same place at home all day. 

I definitely miss a lot of the social aspect of going to school. Even with teachers too, I miss there’s certain teachers I would say hi to every day in the halls or talk to in their classes. I miss all my friends, or even people who I wasn’t really friends with just sitting in a classroom with them doing projects, seeing people in the hallway, it’s kind of a bummer being at home. 

At Least There’s Volleyball

In my free time I play volleyball for the school and for a club in Cleveland. It feels actually really good to practice right now. It just gives me something to do because there’s not too much to do right now.

So I’m very grateful that we do get to practice, because there are a lot of other school districts that have just canceled school completely. 

College Applications

I am applying to colleges right now. I’m trying to get it all done by Nov. 1 just so it’s out of the way.

The college admissions process is different. A lot of schools aren’t requiring us to submit an SAT or ACT score right now so it is a little different. Most schools are going by GPA now for a lot of merit scholarships.

So to a certain point it is easier, but it’s also kind of tough because we didn’t get a lot of help setting up our common app or anything like that from our teachers. It’s a kind of on-our-own kind of thing. 

Parade On Wheels

I’m looking forward to a senior spirit parade that we have. Usually all fall sports and athletes participate in like a homecoming parade, but this year it’s just going to be seniors in it.

So we’re all just riding in our cars through Lakewood.

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