Class of 2021 looks toward future after year of disruption

“I’m just hoping things can get back to normal.”

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Carly Philpott

LEAVING THEIR MARK: Seniors complete annual traditions such as signing the windows in Post-Grad, pinning maps with their college decisions, and picking up yearbooks. For seniors such as Anjali Kurse, leaving Creek brings hope and opportunity. “I’m really hoping to academically excel in college and go on to medical school,” she said. “I hope to make a ton of new, long-lasting friends too!”

Carly Philpott, Editor-in-Chief

When Creek first went remote last year, the class of 2020 was devastated to lose several uniquely senior experiences: prom, Senior Day, graduation parties. At the time, communities came together to bring seniors across the country experiences to replace what they were missing out on.

A year later, however, the novelty of missing senior year seems to have worn off. After so long in the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the original community-building traditions have dissolved: people no longer clap for healthcare workers at the shift change, organize drive-by birthday parties, or go on Zoom for every holiday and special occasion.

Nonetheless, seniors this year missed out on a lot, and with no way of recreating those experiences in sight, many seniors are feeling left behind.

“We didn’t get to hang out with all of our friends every day or do a senior prank,” senior Anjali Kurse said. “Senior ditch days are irrelevant now; it feels like the usual traditions were just stripped due to lack of school time. I feel like I’ve missed most of the carefree days where I just hung out and made memories with my friends.”

The class of 2021 missed out on almost everything: Homecoming, pep rallies, sporting events, even full in-person school for three quarters of the year.

“It was kind of difficult just to deal with all the cohort stuff and also transition back into the full in person learning,” senior Shannon Straub said.

With everything different this year, the normally difficult pieces of being a senior became several times worse. Thousands of 2020 seniors across the country chose to defer their college decisions until this year, and many colleges didn’t have as many spaces open due to COVID-19, so getting into college was more difficult than in a normal year.

“There were somehow more people that applied this year and [that] made an already difficult process 10 times more competitive,” senior Teal Wall said. “Having to go through the college process without having consistent access to counselors and teachers made it a lot harder.”

Still, 2021’s senior class is looking forward to a better college experience.

“I’m just hoping things can get back to normal, you know what I mean?” Straub said. “It’s not going to be normal normal, but like a new normal. I just hope that I can make new friends and figure out what I want to do with my life.”

Senior Elisabeth Plum agreed. “I’m hoping for a normal college experience since we didn’t get a normal senior year,” she said. “Maybe things will be back to normal by then.”