The Class of Compromise

The first time students walked Kennedy’s halls since the pandemic and the devastating derecho felt different. There were expectations of a completely different school. They expected feeling a little out of place after being gone for so long. Instead the halls seemed as if no time had passed. Display cases filled with snowflakes and christmas lights from pep assemblies past. Almost as if time had frozen. 

By the time seniors could return to school, they were halfway through their year. Smiling faces stared through the glass and memories of the calm before the storm came flooding back. The students in these pictures had no idea.

2021’s senior year has been filled with hopeful moments, changed to unfortunate compromises. We were optimistic by the time our senior year started we had hopes of a normal football season. Instead, we were met with reduced crowds and mask covered students. We were hopeful to be back at school at the beginning of the year. Instead, the derecho forced us online. We wished for time in the classroom, with all of our friends. Friendships are split apart. They are divided by our place in the alphabet. The class of 2020 didn’t get to end their senior year the way they had wanted. The class of 2021 never got to start. 

The class of 2020 received sympathy from all of America and rightfully so. The class of 2020 missed out on the memories of graduation and prom. 2021 has missed some of the most important parts of being a senior and have not been met with sympathy, but instead mountains of homework and the expectation to succeed even in these unfamiliar times. 

The class of 2020 missed out on their prom and graduation. The class of 2021 has missed out on every school dance and pep assembly that would have occurred thus far. Seniors are not given a school sponsored prom or any pep assemblies. Graduation only allows four guests per person. Even if and when these events can happen, they won’t be the same as they were before the pandemic. 

As 2021 wraps up seniors are nostalgic for a simpler time. A time with crowded gyms and spirit sticks. Seniors don’t get to experience using the extra swept up confetti. There will be no cheering with their classmates. 

Seniors relish the idea of dancing once again in a humid, brightly lit gym with dreadfully outdated music blasting over the speakers. There wouldn’t be complaints about not winning the spirit stick, instead just enjoy the fun competition. There would be no complaints of the beaming fluorescent lights turned on during school dances, instead there would be dancing and singing to the oldies. Although there would still be complaints about waking up early, stress about taking tests, and wishes for SMART Time, the ability to experience being a senior would be enough.