Seniors lament school year lost to pandemic

Task+Force+Officer+and+senior+Grace+Rivera+expressed+disappointment+in+her+lack+of+senior+year+activities.+As+a+member+of+the+senior+Task+Force+board%2C+Rivera+is+exploring+different+avenues+for+senior+graduation+night.+

Provided by Grace Rivera

Task Force Officer and senior Grace Rivera expressed disappointment in her lack of senior year activities. As a member of the senior Task Force board, Rivera is exploring different avenues for senior graduation night.

Grace Na, Staff Writer

‘You may now move your tassel from the right to the left.’

Near the end of the graduation, seniors in their white and navy blue gowns are instructed to move their tassels, signifying the closure of their senior year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bonita Vista High (BVH) seniors will not be able to experience a traditional senior year, including prom, a graduation ceremony, graduation night and other senior events.

According to Task Force President and senior, Faith Talamantez, as much as she enjoys staying at home, she had a difficult time in distance learning. She said it impacted her motivation to finish her assignment and study for tests.

“Personally, I am enjoying online school because it’s easily accessible. I don’t have to worry as much about managing [multiple tasks] at once,” Talamantez said. “But after a while, I felt like it got more challenging to be motivated to do homework and [tend to] other [responsibilities].”

Task Force President and senior Faith Talamantez was disappointed when senior activities were canceled due to the pandemic, but she expressed appreciation for her teachers’ mindfulness of student needs. (Provided by Faith Talamantez)

On the other hand, senior Edelina Bagaporo, who uses she/they pronouns, is motivated by their grades. They believe that it would not be worth receiving a bad grade during their last year of high school. 

“[Studying and finishing assignments are] ways that help me establish a different routine between my life and school. I want to be able to work on something,” Bagaporo said.

Talamantez stated that some of her teachers have been extending due dates and have been mindful of assigning less homework and tests. Additionally, most of her teachers have tried to help students by administering wellness checks.

“A lot of my teachers have tried to check up on us every once in a while and will ask us how we’re doing. I think it’s really helpful as well as thoughtful; it makes it seem like they care,” Talamantez said.

Talamantez was looking forward to graduation night the most. She said she loves Disneyland and was sad when graduation night was cancelled along with other senior activities. Task Force Officer and senior Grace Rivera received a notice that Disneyland will not hold senior graduation nights for any student groups due to COVID-19, but other avenues are being explored. 

“Disneyland is out of the [question],” Rivera said. “If things do clear up, I know my Task Force board and other schools are looking at Universal Studios or other amusement parks.”

As a result Rivera stated that it is unfortunate that she would not be able to go to grad night because it was a hallmark senior event that students look forward to.

“I was extremely disappointed when I got the notification from my advisor that Disneyland had canceled all availability for grad night. Not just our school but for every school that holds their grad night there,” Rivera said.

In comparison, Bagaporo was looking forward to graduation because it is a high school milestone. If a traditional graduation ceremony is held, Bagaporo stated that they would not buy a cap and gown if the price is expensive. 

“Part of buying [a cap and gown] is the experience. If it’s not discounted, I have caps and gowns at home because my sisters went to BVH. In the end, I could always use theirs instead,” Bagaporo said.

On the other hand, Talamantez stated that she will buy a cap and gown. She noted that even though senior graduation may be online, she would like to mimic the experience as much as possible. In fact, she would prefer having a graduation online because it would be the safest way. For now, however, much remains uncertain for the Class of 2021.

“I think one of the biggest things is senior year has felt like junior year part two; it hasn’t really felt like a senior year. [It’s] kind of [a] blurred line between junior and senior year,” Bagaporo said.

It hasn’t really felt like a senior year. [It’s] kind of [a] blurred line between junior and senior year.”

— Senior Edelina Bagaporo