The senior year I never expected

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Senior Kristin Gooding calls “The Old Man and the Old Moon” from the booth.

Kristin Gooding, Editor in chief

As we approach a year of living with the coronavirus and all the shutdowns, I’m looking back on this crazy year. While the Class of 2020 was deprived of the end of their spring semester, my class, the Class of 2021, has been deprived of our entire senior year–no homecoming, no attending sports events and most likely no prom. 

It’s not the senior year I imagined. 

My senior year was supposed to be filled going to football games, my last homecoming game and dance, pep rallies, working on three plays leading up to our UIL One-Act Play, and prom. I had hoped that we would get back to “normal” before the end of the school year but that has not been the case. 

I have yet to attend a single sporting event due to the COVID restrictions and haven’t been able to do much of anything with theatre except for recently with our UIL One-Act Play. 

While I never was a huge sports fan, I missed being in the crowded student section at football games and cheering on our football team. 

For my senior year, I thought I would be stage manager or crew head for every show, work the haunted house as a roaming technician and attend those late night rehearsals that I despised, but now I can only do one play with a very distanced audience. 

Being virtual the first semester meant that I missed all of our homecoming this year, I had no dress-up days and no pep rally. Those events were supposed to be one of the highlights of this year–ones that make my last year at Sachse so special.

The most difficult part of my senior year has been my whole family getting COVID-19 and having to quarantine for five weeks. 

It was hard to see how it affected my family. COVID hit my older brother the hardest, and it barely affected my dad, but both have had struggles with breathing after recovering from it. 

Many people have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are still struggling with finances due to losing their jobs or reduced income. Thankfully for those five weeks, my dad and my brother were paid, so we were able to stay on our feet but not all families are that lucky. 

Another milestone of senior year is college visits and the application process. I was able to visit my top two choices for college, Texas Christian University and Oklahoma City University, both masked and socially distanced. I was able to visit OCU prior to COVID-19, so I was allowed inside the buildings. Some of my friends were not as fortunate.. Seeing how both universities handled COVID-19 greatly influenced my decision. 

While nothing changed to the application process, a lot changed when it came to interviewing for my major. Instead of going to the OCU campus to interview for their design and production program, I was able to interview over Zoom from the comfort of my own home. 

Some positives have come out of my senior year, I got into my dream school and program at OCU. Through Facebook groups, group chats and Zoom, I was able to make many new friends who are also attending OCU, and I found a roommate. 

After almost a whole year of not stage managing, I was finally able to stage manage our UIL One-Act Play, “The Old Man and the Old Moon.”  I was anxious about it after not doing it for so long. I was afraid I had lost my touch. 

It was different, though. Last year when I stage managed, I had an assistant, but this year I had to do everything myself. The actors also had a hard time hearing and understanding me because I had to speak through a mask.

In previous years we were able to watch the other schools perform, but this year that’s not allowed. I miss being able to see my friends from other schools and cheer them on as they present what they’ve been working so hard on these past few months.

My senior year definitely isn’t what I expected, but I believe the struggles and challenges COVID-19 has thrown at the Class of 2021 will make us stronger and more well-rounded. We’re graduating high school in the middle of a pandemic and have endured and adapted though some of the biggest changes to education, social settings and emotional stresses of any generation in recent history. 

All I want now is to walk across the stage and get my diploma.