Coronavirus’ Effect on Seniors


Tim McCarthy

Parkway Central High teachers delivered signs and t-shirts to seniors, and admin put this banner sign up to honor seniors.

Sawyer Lownsdale, Staff Reporter

Everyone has been affected in one way or another by the coronavirus pandemic. The world has become a strange place, especially here in the United States. High school graduation is a traditional celebration in America, commending students for their hard work and marking the beginning of their life journey.

 Graduation is a memory that is cherished by every adult, but the class of 2020 is not going to have the traditional graduation, and their last month of high school that would typically be used for senior pranks and other traditions, has been taken away from them. The seniors this year have all been affected by coronavirus in some way, and I wanted to give them the opportunity to share their voice about the unique effects the pandemic has had on this year’s seniors.

Sakura Gavin spent most of her high school years in the pool, she was on both the swim team and the water polo team. Aside from simply wanting to graduate from high school the way it should be, she feels robbed of her final season of spring sports.

“The pandemic hit me the hardest by cancelling spring sports,” Gavin said. “Obviously a lot of people are affected by this but I was really looking forward to playing this season. I had a lot of goals I wanted to accomplish with my senior season, and it feels like I was robbed of those opportunities.”

Sakura’s sports career doesn’t stop here though, as she recently committed to Mercyhurst University to play D-1 water polo. She plans to enter their five year program for a masters in education, with a degree in mathematics. 

Cahlil Richard and his family have taken a different approach to the quarantine, and although he wishes for a normal graduation experience, he has stayed positive, and actually sees this as an opportunity to get closer to his family.

“The virus has affected me and my family in multiple ways,” Richard said. “I would always be out with my friends … but now we are spending a lot of time together and seeing this as a way to come closer together.”

Cahlil plans on attending community college, and says he may enlist in the army following his two years at STLCC.

Sam Gillespie, who will attend Mizzou next year with a major in biology, wishes he would’ve had a normal graduation experience. 

“Pandemic is a bummer,” Gillespie said. “I don’t even feel like I’m graduating.”

Emma Mueller says the pandemic has affected both her plans for college, and relationships with friends.

“The virus has affected my college plans, friendships, and future plans.” Mueller said, “It really hurts right now, but I believe everything happens for a reason. COVID-19 has made me realize to never take anything for granted again.”

Savannah Grasmick says the pandemic has really taken a toll on her social life, as well has her ability to do schoolwork.

“I’m about as extroverted as they get, and I feel like I’m losing my mind not being around people,” Grasmick said. “I’m also most productive everywhere but my house, so school is not going super well.”

It’s unclear when life will go back to normal, and no doctor or anyone can seem to give an accurate estimate on when life will begin to return. These are times where we should be figuring out our future, preparing for our journey to adulthood, and for life out in the real world. As a senior, I feel for every one of my fellow 2020 graduates, and I hope you know you aren’t alone in feeling robbed, and even if it sounds cliche, we are all in this together.