Seniors Take On Covid by Rohan Parasnis

Photo by Samantha Zagha

For most, senior year usually means thinking about your future, finishing up high school, and hanging out with friends. But for the class of 2021, senior year has been much more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s plans have been thrown out the door. However, the senior student council has tried to make the best out of these trying times. When asked about how COVID has shaped the senior class, they responded with a wide range of responses.

“I think it is going to make us value the time we have had together and will have together in the future as a class,” senior class President Jack Berkowitz said.

Senior publicity representative Drew Ness also noted how the interactions between classmates have changed as students seemed to savor the time they had together if they ever met in person.

“I got my senior basketball season taken away,” senior Vice President Annika Decker said when asked about the biggest thing Covid has taken away from her.

Photos by Sam Jezak

All three students recollected the numerous events they had missed as a grade, such as the senior lock-in and class trip. However, with Covid restrictions being eased, Pinewood is now transitioning from full online to hybrid schooling.

“It’s great as students and teachers will have a way to connect with each other,” Berkowitz said.

However, he noted that there will be some negative aspects as well.

“It will be frustrating, [students] will be frustrated when their panther bands go off because they are standing too close to someone, they’re [going to be] frustrated when none of their friends are in their classes,” Berkowitz said.

Connecting with each other was a big deal for the senior class, and since the pandemic made it so hard to do, the student council had to find other ways to develop those connections.

Over the summer, the senior student council took upon themselves the challenge of finding ways to let the senior class safely connect with each other. They held numerous events, including a goose chase, watching a sunrise together, and most recently a socially distanced picnic. According to the council, the biggest challenge was setting up the event in a safe manner that followed protocols.

Despite the challenges of COVID19, the class of 2021 has still found a way to have fun, like in a recent "Minute to Win It" competition. Photos by Kyle Riches and Samantha Zagha.

In addition to trying to connect with fellow students, seniors also have college closing in.

“The biggest change for me, personally, is that all my meetings with students are virtual,” College Counselor Marvin Coote said.

Last year, students would meet in groups with Coote to discuss the college process; however, this year it is mostly one-on-one meetings. He said that it’s harder to sense emotion over zoom, making it much more difficult to determine what students are actually feeling.

Coote has used technology to his advantage, making sure he has a setup that helps students succeed. Over the summer, he held a boot camp to make sure everything he was doing worked well for students. During this time he was able to see what communication methods worked best. He eventually decided on setting up a calendar so that students can schedule quick meetings with him if they have any questions. Coote also wanted to make sure students felt comfortable reaching out to him.

“Please bother me,” Coote said.

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The Digital Perennial