Senior Burnout: accelerated by Covid?

Maria Maraldo '21, Staff Writer

A little over a year ago, the world was placed into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, schools all over the world shut down and students began to feel the uncertainty of the pandemic. Many juniors (who are now seniors) wondered whether or not they would be able to experience the rest of their junior year, which eventually became the rest of their senior year after it was announced that the school year would begin as virtual in the fall.
While some people took advantage of the time in quarantine, others struggled with missing the end of their school year and it led to a lot of mixed emotions, according to Diona Johnson ’21.
“When we went into quarantine, I was definitely stressed out about the situation,” Johnson said. “I thought that we would be able to return in person before the end of the school year, but clearly that didn’t happen. It’s really weird coming back after a full year of not learning in person and I feel pretty stressed with the sudden huge change in schedule.”
Johnson also said that she, along with many other seniors she knows, are “burnt out” from online school and the disappointment of missing so many milestones.
“Coming back to school at the end of senior year is honestly really disappointing,” Johnson said. “There are so many things my classmates and I missed out on like homecoming and spirit season, trips during breaks, going through the college application process together, and a lot more than that too. It was even worse because we weren’t able to see each other or experience our last year of high school together- we were just able to see each other through screens and it wasn’t the same.”
Many seniors feel as though there is no coming back from the disappointing year they’ve had so far. Kate Beardslee ’21 said that online school was a difficult experience for her and the burnout she feels most likely cannot be replenished in three months of in-person learning.
“Online school was really hard for me,” Beardslee said. “I lacked the motivation to excel that I would usually feel in an in-person environment and it just took a huge toll on my mental health. I don’t really think everything we missed and the damage that was done to our mental health can be fixed in three months of full-time school, especially since the big events that are supposed to be happening for seniors like prom and graduation aren’t set in stone because we could go back online at any moment, which is stressful.”
According to Damiano Krasniqi ’21, despite the time and events that were lost to COVID, seniors can still try to have fun during the time they do have throughout these next few months with each other.
“It sucked that we didn’t have most of our senior year,” Krasniqi said. “But we can’t do anything about it now. All we can do is make the most out of this time we do have together. We still have a few things left to look forward to and I think things are going to start to get better.”
Johnson said this year’s seniors are having a very different experience than most senior classes and they will definitely remember it.
“This school year has obviously not been the best, but we will remember it because of the pandemic,” Johnson said. “While everyone’s experiences during this time are completely valid, I think we should focus on the light at the end of the tunnel at this point because we’re almost at the end of the pandemic and we’re so close to having at least some degree of normalcy returned to our lives.”
Beardslee also agreed with the sentiment of making the best of the time that seniors have together now and said that life after high school is something seniors should be excited about.
“Although it is disappointing that we can’t really get back the time that we lost or make up for it, I think that we just have to try and enjoy the things we (hopefully) have left like prom and graduation,” Beardslee said. “I think we just need to remember that we’re graduating soon and try to work towards our futures instead of focusing on everything that has and hasn’t happened in the past year.“