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Editorial- Dear Class of 2021,

Paige Anderson, Editor-in-Chief
Originally published June 4, 2021

Cartoon by Sam Rainville

Cartoon by Sam Rainville

Safe to say we’ll always remember our senior year. Not because we finally became reigning champs of the homecoming assembly (even though seniors win by default) or we had a blast at prom, graduation, SPREE (the list goes on and on), but because our senior year was more or less nonexistent.

We’ll never get a proper celebration for making it through these four years. Our high school career will end June 11 and that’ll be it. We’ll collectively close our laptops and walk away from Ballard High School. Technically, we’ll get graduation and SPREE, but it won’t be what we had imagined since we were wee little freshmen wandering the pods, not a clue what we were getting into.

Fast forward to Sept. our senior year and we REALLY had no clue what we were getting into. SPS announced 100% remote learning and we were mentally preparing for one email after another: “Hey seniors! We hate to inform you of yet another cancelation #ag2bb.” Sitting in front of your laptop, staring at faceless profile pictures of your classmates, it was beginning to feel like this whole nightmare of a year would never end.

But we made it through (barely) and are starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel. We’re counting down the days till the last day of school—nothing could stop seniors from doing that—and have an in-person graduation to look forward to. Can’t wait to walk across the stage in front of all my friends and family! Uh…I mean stand up in my seat and wave to the four people I invited!

Whatever “normal” senior perk we get now is merely a scrap of things administration or we students managed to pull off. When Governor Jay Inslee announced all counties in WA move to phase three, no one had anything in-person planned for seniors. We were all expecting an online graduation, possible Zoom prom and probably no SPREE whatsoever. But hey, look on the bright side at least we get something, right?

But let’s not forget in the beginning of the school year when everyone mutually agreed to forget about the class of 2021. People were bending over left and right for class of 2020—virtual meet and greets with celebrities, news features filled with pity for “poor ol’ class of 2020,” their entire fourth quarter *poof* dismissed— and we got….? A t-shirt?

So I guess I’m wondering, where is our special treatment? Where is our compensation? Instead of spending our last year together partying and solidifying high school memories, we spent it judging or being judged for a maskless post on Instagram, crying because we miss our friends and family and drowning in classwork because why are we expected to prioritize school in a global pandemic?

Seriously? Why were we expected to prioritize school in a global pandemic? Were we not told “your mental health comes first!” then BOOM six hour and 50 minute school days filled with busy work? Students were fully prepared to offer suggestions to improve the schedule, in-person and remote learning but they were ignored as if we don’t understand what’s best for our personal mental health.

But then the ranting and the complaining boils down t0 the realization that there’s nothing we, or anyone, could’ve done. If you followed CDC’s guidelines and you did your part, that’s something to be proud of because you did a hell of a lot more than what the rest of this country did.

Although it may feel like a chapter of our life is incomplete, there is so much more ahead. Pat yourself on the back, close all those tabs on your computer and delete Microsoft Teams: you did it. You made it through your senior year in a global pandemic.

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Editorial- Dear Class of 2021,