Seniors hopeful modified year brings lasting memories

Seniors hopeful modified year brings lasting memories

Riley Coesens, Editor in Chief

Every student, teacher, parent, and administrator has wondered how this school year will unfold compared to the traditional experience cherished by students of all ages; seniors in particular are motivated to celebrate their final year and their last “firsts” by participating in a variety of social and academic activities before leaving for future endeavors.

Friday night football games, school dances, spirit week, athletic competitions, and even prom and graduation are now in question as COVID changes the “normal”– the factors that were “supposed to make it magical,” as stated by Senior Makenna Bastionell–that many anticipated experiencing. Though many seniors are apprehensive, anticipating shortcomings of the school year, others are excited and hopeful that the year will prove worthwhile and as special as they dreamed it would be since childhood. 

The pandemic has changed the perspective of many high school seniors as they have been forced to re-evaluate what matters most. Senior Caleb Holmes-McGahan recognizes that change is inevitable regarding the activities students value most, but he, like many others, is prepared to overcome these challenges to have fun: “Because of COVID, I understand that a lot of normal school events will be cancelled or postponed, but that means we can make new traditions and events to replace them,” he said. “My biggest goal is to have fun and just make as many memories as possible.” Students will need to be flexible and keep an open mind during these ever-changing times. 

Despite the challenges, students have been fueled by a desire to happily spend their valuable time at MHS creating unforgettable memories with friends. This is the primary goal of the Class of 2021: to enjoy what time is left in every way possible. Senior Clare Miller explained, “Some goals for this year are getting more involved and making my mark at Milford by being the school’s next videographer and just trying to stay positive.” Like Miller, many seniors are hopeful that they will still get to be involved in extracurricular activities this year.

“My goals this year are similar to everyone else’s: stay safe, healthy, and find ways to make memories during my last year at Milford,” said Senior Julia Salvati. “It’s also very important to me to find ways to keep the community feeling and most popular activities alive so I’m hopeful that those of us on Student Council can find creative ways to make it work!” Remaining faithful that good will come from the situation has and will continue to be a crucial part of MHS students’ resilience and patience to returning to normalcy, but in the meantime, seniors intend to take every opportunity to bond that is available to them. 

Regardless of the positivity flowing through seniors’ minds, there is also fear of the unknown and unpredictable. Between frustrations of virtual learning and compromised sports seasons or the lack of a traditional finale to their childhood academics, some seniors are stressed about how to handle the unfamiliarity at hand.

“I am just worried about sports being cancelled again and not having everything go back to normal by the end of the year,” Holmes-McGahan shared. Even more so, the temporary solutions implemented for learning have caused some to feel disadvantaged for future endeavors, compared to the normal academic opportunities they may have had. “One of my biggest fears about this year is the hybrid style of learning. I think it is going to impact my learning as a whole and potentially impact my grades,” said Senior Cassidy Pakkala. “It’s not very easy for me to learn through a computer screen, or pre-recorded class videos and I worry that I won’t be getting the same quality of education as I was in the past.” Huron Valley Schools is working to bridge the gap between past and present educational quality, but only time will tell what the impacts of a modified year will be. Though she agrees that roadblocks have arisen from the current situation, Miller is determined to look for the positive in it all: “Everything is going to change at one point, whether it’s a span of one night or 10 years. I believe change is good and we are a class making history,” she said. 

Promoting unity and togetherness, even with limited contact, is how most seniors believe the Class of 2021 will overcome the difficulties of this year with lifelong moments to appreciate. “We started freshman year together and we’ll end senior year together,” Pakkala explained.

“That’s what being a Mav is all about! When we stick together, like the family we are, we’ll all get through this.” Salvati also advised seniors to have a similar attitude moving forward, as negativity will not help the circumstances–if people have learned one thing from this pandemic, it is that living in the present is crucial, as it all can change in an instant. Salvati stated, “So many things aren’t going to go as we expect or hope, but the Milford school spirit isn’t about the events we plan; it’s about the people we spend them with. Standing six feet apart and wearing a mask doesn’t have to change that.”