Seniors Feel Lost, Overwhelmed by Constant School Changes

Because of COVID-19, students have had to adapt and adjust to a whole new learning environment; seniors are having to navigate college applications and planning for their futures on top of the ever-changing way we are doing school. Planning what to do after high school is stressful enough on its own, but especially this year, seniors feel lost when it comes to these kinds of decisions. The situation that we are all facing has altered how seniors fill out their applications, and this goes beyond whether or not they’re going to submit an ACT score. 

“Getting transcripts is a lot harder,” senior Joelle Fahoum said, “I had trouble figuring that out and you can’t just go to your counselor and ask between classes.”

Fahoum expressed her concern that not seeing teachers in person has created a disconnect between students and teachers, because it limits conversation and personal connection. During senior year, one of the most important things is developing relationships with teachers and creating memories that highlight high school careers. Seniors who have started the year out virtually find it difficult to create those relationships and have those interactions with teachers. 

“I’m not getting to know my teachers,” senior Hannah Magann said, “I’ve had really good teachers in the past at Central and now it’s just totally different.”

When some teachers who are members of the Little Rock Educators Association decided to teach from home on Monday Sept. 28, a new obstacle was placed in front of students: the fear that not all of our teachers would be available to us. After the district’s decision to discipline these teachers on Sept. 30, this obstacle only grew bigger, leaving many seniors feeling as though this was just one more thing to be worried about. 

“She (the teacher who was suspended) said someone would be responsible for our work but I didn’t have any work and I feel like I’m going to get behind in that class,” senior Hanna Watson said.

Missing out on our last quarter of junior year has also had an impact on the stress levels of this unique senior experience. We lost that time of instruction from many classes, and by junior and senior year, classes are more rigorous and are made to prepare us for college courses. Seniors who are virtual have a more difficult time in those rigorous schools. 

“It’s a lot harder online to stay focused. It’s a lot harder to ask teachers questions,” Magann said, “I’m just trying to meet deadlines and get my work turned in.”