Distanced learning has presented its fair share of challenges, and organizing (virtual) senior buddies has not failed to do the same. Despite the complications that came with this new platform for senior buddies, Vincent and Bhaavna, the leaders of the senior buddy program, were up for the challenge.
As a member of the senior class, I have had the opportunity to participate in virtual senior buddies, and will be sharing my perspective, alongside that of Vincent and Bhaavna’s, about the experience of maintaining this important Greenhills tradition while online. The Senior Buddies program has always been an opportunity for sixth graders to feel more connected to the larger Greenhills student community, and now more than ever, that connection is incredibly important. Several seniors have shared that their sixth grade buddy is feeling rather alone due to being thrust into making friends virtually, which is a difficult task. Though almost all students have felt alone at some point this year, it is particularly apparent in the sixth grade class. My hope is that befriending seniors who will be there to support them will help sixth graders feel less alone.
Recently, I had the chance to speak with Vincent and Bhaavna to hear their vision for senior buddies this year and why they pushed forward with the program online. Vincent said, “We thought it was important to continue with the senior buddies in order to maintain the tradition and foster relationships between sixth graders and seniors. It’s been challenging to move activities online and to have the same type of interaction as before, but seeing sixth graders happy is worth it!” Similarly, Bhaavna said, “We were nervous at first because we wanted to make the experience as enjoyable as possible but then we realized it was not as important to have elaborate plans as much as allowing the seniors and sixth graders to connect. The senior and sixth grade team leaders have also been incredibly helpful in helping us plan.”
Though coronavirus has forced senior buddies to meet remotely, the same authentic connections between seniors and sixth graders has been present. My hope is that when it is safe, we will be able meet in person, but for now virtual senior buddies are a lot of fun!