Senior year during a pandemic

As we all know, Covid-19 has affected everyone in many ways. The topic of how well teens are coping with it is something that becomes very important to understand. Just like everyone, teens in high school have lost and missed out on many things that used to be a given. It becomes difficult to understand because we didn’t know that we were living the best time of our lives in that given moment until it quickly got taken away from us. So, the question becomes, how are teens supposed to deal with the loss of a true high school experience as a senior?

High school is not only a place where you further your education and prepare yourself for the next educational chapter in your life, but it is a place where teens can grow as a person and make those lasting memories, especially at Lincoln-Way Central. As Knights we are taught from the beginning of freshman year to fight through adversity, and that we are in this together. The teachers and staff have made it a place where students enjoy attending. Senior, Dylan Walegna chimes in when stating, “The teachers and staff have made it a comfortable school setting, while also forming those relationships outside of schoolwork.” In the beginning of the year 2020 is when everyone’s lives had changed. Most thought this was something to be temporary, but it has proven to be ongoing. This has now affected the Senior class the most. Senior, Dylan Walenga adds, “This is not how I planned to begin my senior year, and ultimately, end it as well. I am grateful for the memories that I have made which makes them so much more important.” We have lost out on a time in our lives that you wait and anticipate the second you enter the doors your freshman year. Not only has the senior class not received the traditional introduction into their senior year (Homecoming, senior t-shirts and pictures, varsity sports), but it also looks to be a dismal end as well.

Not only has this pandemic caused the hardship for students, but it has affected teens’ mental health. Without life already sometimes getting in the way it has become even more challenging the most to learn from a computer. Senior, Dylan Walenga states, “It is a whole different experience when you are not able to collaborate with your peers. I have had a hard time concentrating while trying to do my work from my bedroom.”  The teachers and staff have made Lincoln- Way Central a fun and welcoming place to be, but also care about their students’ education. The stress that has been put on teens recently affects them even if they don’t realize it. Students were in a routine they didn’t know they needed until it was taken away. Senior Dylan Walenga says, “ It is very weird to set a schedule for myself and stick to it while also trying to keep my social life.” Many students find themselves at a loss of motivation because of the school year we have had. Mental health for teens is something already that is important but add the year we have had, and it can become overwhelming. The most difficult thing is not knowing how to handle this stress. Balancing home life, social life and school life in these times tend to become more challenging than normal.

In times like these, the student body needs to stick together and support one another. Especially now, with the relationships that have been put on pause, look out for a classmate or peer. Mental health has taken a toll already on many students, but one person can make a significant difference!