Senior activities need to be prioritized more

Angie Gulizia, Editor in Chief

Every morning, I stumble out of bed and grab some coffee in the kitchen before heading to my laptop. I open it up and log in to Webex, where I’m greeted by a few faces and a collection of gray boxes. As I sit through my lecture, I can’t help but think, “I’ve gone through 12 years of school and this is my reward? This was definitely not the senior year I was looking forward to.”

This is the situation every senior is living through right now. Online school is difficult enough on its own but compiled with the already numerous senior events that have had no online replacements or modified activities, it’s even more bleak and disappointing for seniors. We’re going through online school during a year that we expected to be so much different, and we deserve to experience the events we’ve been looking forward to in some capacity.

Students’ mental health has been suffering significantly during the pandemic and distance learning, and missing out on long-awaited activities isn’t helping. According to Dr. Lauren Strelitz at Stanford Children’s Health’s Bayside Medical Group—Pinole, “Anxiety and depression in teenagers has been a huge problem, even prior to the pandemic, and is getting worse.” In my experience, periods of lower mental health can stem from a lack of social interaction, leading to feeling isolated or disconnected. Reconnecting with the senior class and collectively enjoying the festivities we’ve been looking forward to for a while would help a lot of students.

Obviously, we won’t be able to hold these activities as they’ve been held in past years. Homecoming and the bell dance would be pretty much impossible to modify. But other events, like senior sunrise, could be modified. We could socially distance on the football field or outside of our cars in the parking lot, and everyone can wear masks. Even if in-person events were impossible, we could at least do an online replacement event. However, we haven’t gotten anything like this, and the class of ‘21 deserves more attention put towards making those and future events happen, even if they aren’t the same as before. We’ve been looking forward to the fun festivities this year held for a long time, and they would make this difficult year a little easier for us.