Column: Inside Michelle’s Mind

It has been a bittersweeet senior year


Many high school students dream of the day that they graduate as a senior. The senior experience at Grayslake North usually involves super fanning front row at football or basketball games, senior assassin, prom, senior ditch days, etc. The seniors have a sense of pride to be the oldest of the school, and in a way it’s an honor to be known as a senior. 

The pandemic has taken away the normal senior year experience from over a hundred students, and really any sense of normalcy has changed drastically over 2020. While many are suffering from the virus themselves, many others are suffering watching their loved ones struggle with sickness, or struggle with work, or struggle teaching themselves in a new learning environment. At least from my perspective, it feels as though everyone has put their lives on pause. 

I had the opportunity to graduate early from high school, and was presented with the idea of finishing off my senior year with one semester back in my junior year. As someone who is going to CLC for two years, it sounded like a great option for me, but ultimately I decided that I would like to finish off high school with some memories of senior year events. To have that backfire against me in the form of a pandemic feels very ironic to say the least.

I’m beyond excited to be graduating in a mere few months with my friends, and I can’t wait to move on with a new chapter in my life. But, I can’t help but feel that it’s been bittersweet. There have been no games to superfan, no last school dances to jump around in, and not even a normal classroom to attend every day. While I take the pandemic very seriously and think that the school is doing its best with the circumstances, I do feel that regret of not being able to close off high school with the experiences I’ve looked forward to since I was a kid.

I hope that the parents and staff at school can have some understanding and compassion for the seniors right now who may seem a little burned out, who might not be the star student they once were, or who may not have interacted with school like they used to. Everyone is trying their best with their given circumstances, and I think it’s important for adults to have some perspective on what the Class of 2021 might be going through. Logging in to school with a virus that’s been taking many loved ones’ lives is already a feat in itself. 

I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had at Grayslake North, and I’m more than happy to be moving on, but once again, it’s been a bittersweet senior year.