Seniors react to their last year being cut short

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De Soto High School’s senior class mourns the loss of their last year being cut short and reflect back to when they were still in school.

Camryn Robbinson, Editor in Chief

This year marks the 100th year of De Soto High School’s existence: 100 years of waking up at 6 a.m., 100 years of homework assignments and 99 years of graduation. While most of these traditions have taken place at DHS for a century, COVID-19 has caused the 2019-20 school year to be cut short. Because of this pandemic, seniors everywhere are missing out on prom, graduation and the experience to bond with classmates before going to college. 

While a vastly spreading virus is out of anyone’s control, seniors feel nostalgic as they look back on their past four years at DHS. For senior Adison Reinertsen, the closing of all schools in the district was shocking, and after looking back at her high school experience, she wished she could have done some things differently.

“[I wish I had] talked to more people and said goodbye. I wish I would have been more happy in school those last couple of days because I remember being really stressed … I wish I wouldn’t have been so eager [to leave],” Reinertsen said. 

Reinertsen is not the only senior who missed out on saying goodbye. Senior Lucas Nascimento, who felt “blessed to go to DHS and got to be a part of a great community of people,” wishes he could have one last goodbye before the end of the year.

Along with not getting the chance to say goodbye, the class of 2020 is sad that senior traditions may no longer happen. Events like senior breakfast, graduation and prom are all canceled until further notice from the state of Kansas and the USD 232 district. 

While senior Graci Molzen is not so much worried about not having a prom, she is adamant about having a graduation. 

“I just want a graduation. I got to experience prom last year, but graduating from high school with the people I’ve grown up with is a once in a lifetime thing. I’m very optimistic that we will get our graduation, it just won’t be in the traditional away,” Molzen said.

For Reinertsen, the possibility of not having a graduation is the saddest part of the stay at home order.

“[Graduation] is a huge milestone and it’s sad that we feel like we won’t get recognized for our hard work,” Reinertsen said. “As for prom, [not having it] does make me really upset, even though it’s a silly thing. I didn’t get to go to prom junior year and I was really excited to be able to go this year.”

While there is talk of a graduation ceremony at the end of July or scheduling a virtual celebration, Reinertsen chooses to stay optimistic for the time being.

“Having an online graduation would be interesting, though not what we were expecting. It’s our job to adapt to what’s going on and now if we have to get our recognition online, we should make the best of it,” Reinertsen said. 

With the time being, students around the world are finishing the school year with online schooling. According to the senior class, there are mixed views on the effectiveness of having school through Zoom calls and Canvas assignments.

“Yes, [online school] is pretty convenient to do it whenever I want, but I need more structure to keep me engaged. I honestly keep forgetting I have school work because it’s like my brain thinks it’s summertime,” Molzen said.

Nascimento agrees with Molzen, saying that online school “is alright for what it is … but as a senior, it is hard to find the motivation to do it [school work].”

As for next year when the senior class goes onto the next stages of their lives, Reinertsen already sees a difference in how the preparation for college has changed due to the coronavirus.

“One thing I already know will be different is orientation and picking classes will be online rather than in person. I feel that it is a big step for us going into college to get the correct experience and guidance into it and sadly, I will not get to visit and prepare for college in person,” Reinertsen said.

Because the stay at home order is reinstated until May 3, many seniors are concerned about the possibility of not having much of a summer.

“I hope I get to have a summer. At this point, I think we might get somewhat of one, but definitely not as free as it would have been beforehand,” Molzen said. “I think this is all going to end a lot sooner than we think, so I am optimistic about getting to do at least some fun things this summer.”