Class of ’21 unites after an abnormal final year

by Sanjana Deshpande, Features Editor
photo by Maureen Caulfield

For senior Kaity Shaughnessy’s school year, COVID-19 has had a massive impact.

“I haven’t learned as much as I normally would’ve,” she said. “We missed a lot of the fun senior events, like football games, and just feeling like a community.”

The pandemic majorly altered the past two school years for students of all ages; with that, many traditions to help celebrate the end of the year have had to be canceled or significantly modified. These celebrations aren’t just a way to have fun, Shaughnessy said, but also a way to get closure. 

“It means a lot because it puts an end to our high school journey. Without it, this year wouldn’t feel complete,” she said. “Having prom and graduation is just one last hurrah for all the seniors to come together and be a community.”

The senior class officers  understand the significance of these traditions and have worked tirelessly to make amends without losing the enjoyment aspect, class president senior Benjamin Moshes said. He has worked to make different arrangements for prom, which is now being held on the field at South as opposed to its usual indoor venue to prevent a super spreader event from occurring.

“We’ve been working with the class officers and the PTSO starting in late February to organize prom, but it’s been a long process because of the number of restrictions that we’ve had,” he said. “It’ll still be formal and fun, but it won’t be held in the typical way.”

Moshes said that given the atypical circumstances of this school year, he believes that the closing senior events will bring a satisfactory end to the class of ‘21’s school year.

“Some of these events will be more joyful than they have been in years past,” he said. “Maybe they would have been more fancy if they were being held during a normal time, but people have been so glad to see each other again and connect with each other. The most rewarding part of all of the work that we’ve put in has been seeing people connecting with each other after such a long time.”

Senior Benson Lu said that the class office’s efforts have been beyond appreciable.

“It’s hard to communicate with the administration sometimes, and a lot of things can get delayed by that,” he said. 

Senior Louis Gershon said that he respects the grind the class office put in this year. 

 “At the end of the day, this is a really hard situation and the fact that they’ve been able to do something is great,” he said. “They’ve done the best with what they have, and I know how hard they’re working.”

Moshes said that resilience, which has been a constant theme in the senior class this year, is truly impressive.

“I’m really proud of the class of 2021. It was a difficult year to be a senior, but people have put in a lot of effort to keep their heads high and have fun, even if some things were done differently than they usually are,” he said. “People have tried their best to try and enjoy themselves, and that’s an amazing quality that our grade had this year.”