Seniors share their experiences and thoughts as their final year at JC begins to wind down

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Madison Elliott, News Editor

As the 2021 school year begins to reach the final stretch, seniors are having to prepare for their goodbye to JC. This school year was one unlike anything other year because of the pandemic.

To close out this year, a few seniors have shared their reflections of this past school year and the impact it had on them.
Due to the pandemic, many things were lost within the school year. Senior Mackenzie Kolb said, “If I could change anything about my senior year, it would be that we would have had a homecoming. I wish I could have gone to the dance one last time with my friends.”
Senior Zoe Ragland-Haines had similar thoughts for one thing she wishes she could have experienced one last time. Zoe said, “One thing I think I’d change about my senior year is just missing out on my favorite yearly events. Because school closed during my cheer season, I missed out on getting a Senior Night. I also wish that we were able to have had a pep rally and homecoming because they’re my favorite part of the school year.”
School-wide events like these have so much meaning for students, but as a senior, these would have been the last time they could experience those events at JC.
Homecoming, proms, sports seasons, and pep rallies are all things that were affected by the pandemic, meaning seniors will have missed out on some of the best experiences or events normally available.
An event that is specifically for seniors is their Senior Unity Day. This event was able to take place even through the pandemic in the form of a Senior Olympics.
For senior Paige Hare, this day was one of her favorite parts of the year. Paige said, “My favorite part of senior year was being able to go back to school and see all my friends along with opportunity to participate in Senior Day in the start of the year. Senior Day was a great way for everyone in the class of 2021 to bond.”
In the beginning of the year, classes were completely virtual, was a challenge as this system of learning was new to students and staff at JC.
Mackenzie said, “It has been challenging to stay motivated while online and keep up with all my work.”
Zoe said similar things about online work as it could become overwhelming at times. She said that one thing she began to do was take naps to give her mind a break.
Mackenzie said the best way overcome the challenges is to “approach things with an open mind and hope for the best. I plan everything ahead of time in order to keep up with everything that needs to be done.”
As for Paige, she always keeps in mind that she is very appreciative of the three years she was able to have normally with her class. She has come to love hanging out with people outside of school that she normally may not have.
She said, “That has helped me gain so many more friends I never thought I would have.”
Though some events and times were lost, the school year was not doomed. Things started looking up when the expansions for in-person learning began.
Mackenzie said, “My favorite part has been going back into school and seeing my friends again.”
Each expansion has been able to bring more students back together.
After all the new experiences and challenges that were faced, many lessons were taken away.
As a final reflection, Mackenzie said, “This school year taught me that anything is possible –that things may seem hard and like nothing good is going to happen — but to still hope for the best, and things will get better.”
Positive outlooks on the year are a great way to end the crazy experience so many have endured.
For Zoe’s final reflection, she said, “This school year has taught me how resilient everyone is and looking at how well all of my friends are doing and how they have all have gotten accepted and committed to so many great schools. I’m honestly just so proud of everyone!”
Paige shared what she took out of this year after learning more about the things she appreciates most. She said, “This year has taught me that no matter what happens, John Carroll will find a way to try to give us the best time we can have while making memories along the way.”