Senior Year Amidst A Pandemic

By Brennan Kraus, Section Editor

As Spring break has reached its end and the graduating class prepares for their last five weeks of school prior to the start of senior projects, it is imperative to reflect on the strange and challenging year that has unfolded for the entire Flint Hill community, but especially for the Class of 2021. One process that has drastically changed due to the pandemic is the college application and decision process. While this year’s seniors were at an advantage regarding the test-optional policy, at most colleges, such circumstances also eliminated a baseline means of analyzing students from very different school environments. Furthermore, while the seniors were competing against members of their grade for selective college spots, they additionally were faced with competition from those who chose to defer for a year or take a gap year due to the pandemic. Another struggle in this already stressful process is in regards to touring schools. 


Senior Ryan Kennedy reflected on this matter, saying: “It was definitely harder to know if a school was going to be a good fit since on campus tours were cancelled, so it was especially helpful to rely on advice from our college counselors and their opinion on how I would fit into various universities.” 


Kennedy touches on the importance of connecting with Flint Hill’s amazing college counselors as a means to see universities from a different lens. He also mentions another important way to go through the college process. “Many admissions departments were helpful by using their social media platforms to post important reminders and guidelines to try and give a better understanding of the on-campus feel to prospective students,” he said. 


With more applicants than ever before and a very different process, it was vital that seniors took advantage of their resources to find a perfect school for them. Another different process for seniors was for those who were going through the recruitment process.

Senior Lara Geib discusses this experience for her, saying: “The recruiting process was really different, but I think staying proactive and involved with the coaches and teams virtually definitely benefited me. The coaches definitely got to know me well from all of the virtual meetings.” 


As Geib and other sports-driven seniors strive to find the perfect school to continue their athletic careers, the importance of taking advantage of one’s resources and staying active and determined is reemphasized.  However, while Flint Hill’s seniors worked to stay positive during such a strange year and stressful processes, not having the senior year they anticipated took a toll on them as well. 


Senior Sofia Augenstein discussed how this year felt to her, explaining, “I would say it’s been hard to adjust to a year that doesn’t even feel like my senior year and be able to create a good work ethic and positive attitude in the world we are living in.” 


It is clear that Augenstein’s sentiment is reflected in many of this year’s senior class as they struggle to take on the mental struggles that come with losing every aspect of their “normal” senior year. However, for some students, this year provided an opportunity to grow both academically and mentally and allow for positive change. 


Senior Tyler Nguyen discusses this, stating, “Though most students might look at this year as a negative, I actually found this year as an opportunity for me to discover new things about myself.” 


The class of 2021 demonstrates perseverance and will-power that is incredible and inspiring, sentiments that will hopefully place these students as role models for underclassmen and those who will soon be in their shoes. Nguyen is very accurate in his words, saying “Senior year has definitely taught me a lot about change.”  Whether positive or negative, it is abundantly clear that after a senior year that this class has experienced, anything is possible moving forward. While a struggle nonetheless, the Class of 2021 will enter their next journey with skills and experiences that can only come from living through such a unique senior year. Although each student has taken this experience differently, these students have proven that even a hardship like losing their senior year will not define them and how they chose to move forward.