Keep it in perspective: Senior privileges are better than they seem

By Lauren Cox, Cassidy Jacobs, Olivia Rohling, and Paula Zalar

Skipping the lunch line, being dismissed for Mass first, and leading the student section in cheers are just some of the senior privileges and traditions that the Class of 2021 have missed out on this school year due to Covid-19. It’s easy to feel left out of a normal senior year and feel like this isn’t fair. Thoughts like, “Every other senior class got to do these things,” or “Why my class?” are easy to think. It’s doesn’t seem fair, but perspective is important.

Though there may not have been a real homecoming dance and student sections at sporting events are non-existent, the McNicholas faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the Class of 2021 has a senior year that is still as memorable and enjoyable as possible — even with a worldwide pandemic.

Despite Covid, there was still a Mardi Gras Pageant, and though things looked different with no dance to follow, each court member escorting themselves to the stage, and minimal allowable attendance, the decade-long tradition still happened, and each senior was invited. Mardi Gras Chair Bill Losekamp said, “It [was] kind of their chance to show support for their classmates and also to [have] a little taste of normal… 4 years of hard work should still be able to have the chance to be showcased.”

Image courtesy of McNicholas HS on Twitter.

Covid-19 has changed the way sports games look and operate. The OHSAA made it a restriction that traditional student sections were prohibited this school year. In the fall, athletes were allotted a portion of tickets to give to their immediate family members as per Governor DeWine’s request back in the summer. On Tuesday Jan. 19, Athletic Director Drew Schmidt announced that seniors would be allowed to attend home varsity basketball games for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season. “We realized that we were under the threshold of capacity restrictions for basketball games and we felt it [was] right to give seniors the opportunity for the extra amount of space we had in the gym,” Schmidt said. “It was paramount that we find a way to honor the seniors as best we could. We all know it isn’t the same or necessarily the most-exciting, but it beats the alternative of not being able to do anything,” Schmidt added.

Image courtesy of McNicholas Athletics on Twitter.

Though there was no homecoming dance this year, there was still a court and spirit week leading up to the court festivities on Thursday, Sept. 24. Homecoming court coordinator Christine Sennett said, “It was important for us to make sure the students had everything we could possibly give them considering Covid. We wanted to make sure we helped them have a homecoming they would enjoy and remember.”

Image courtesy of McNicholas Class of 2021 on Instagram.

Lilly Rohling is a senior at Loveland High School. Just as many other high-schools, Loveland typically holds a homecoming dance in the fall, except for this year. Loveland didn’t hold a dance, didn’t have any court activities, and didn’t name a homecoming king and queen. “It was very hard on us,” Rohling said.

Principal Dave Mueller said, “Most seniors in most schools, from my experience are interested in and ask for and receive some privileges… I think that’s appropriate because seniors have done a very good job over the last four years. They provided leadership for the school, and it’s a reward… It’s an opportunity for the school to thank them and recognize them for the good leadership they have given.”

On Thursday, Jan. 21, Mueller sent an email to the Class of 2021 outlining the privileges that would be available to them for the remainder of the school year. Some of which include uniform decorating for the last week of school, Fridays being jeans/sweats days, and designated senior-only catered lunches, among others.

There may not have been lunch lines to cut, Masses to leave for first, or student sections to lead, but with the current circumstances, being in school, in person, and in good health is the ultimate “senior privilege.” Everything else is a generous bonus.

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