DHS Seniors look to the future with hope

Alyssa Bayles, Editor in Chief

In any normal year, senior year of high school is filled with events from prom to deciding the next chapter of life. Due to COVID-19, this year has been anything but normal. Seniors are having to face more challenges than most years. 

One of the many challenges seniors at Delta High School have faced this year is all of the constant changes. One of the big changes has been the constant schedule changes. 

“From our schedules changing at the beginning of the year due to COVID to the hybrid models, to then changing again in October back to Fridays as half days, and now changing again at semester to full classes and a full schedule,” said Shawna Magtutu, DHS counselor. With all of these constant changes, it has put stress on seniors to try to find time for everything. 

“Often it messed with the amount of time we all had to do homework and balance outside school activities, which was a constant time management struggle. It was a crunch to find time to do homework half the time,” said senior Carisa Rhiness. 

With these constant changes, Rhiness believes classes were becoming harder. “I feel like some classes have been harder to transition from online to in person, and certain classes have excessive amounts of work than can become difficult to get done.”  

 Along with schedule changes, students were getting quarantined which made school more difficult. Grace Hall, senior, was quarantined for about two and a half weeks. During this time, she had to do all of her classes online away from her teachers and friends. “It’s really hard to stay motivated when you’re not in class,” said Hall. Having classes online is not always the easiest thing to do during quarantine. 

“It’s also hard to rely on the internet for your education, especially where I live,” said Hall. “Several times I had to drive into town just to log into class, and I had to use the library parking lot to complete my finals.” 

Rhiness was also among the group of seniors who was ordered to quarantine. She was out of school for two weeks. Rhiness believes that the hardest challenge of the quarantine was finding ways to communicate with the teachers and getting group projects done. 

Along with the constant schedule changes and quarantines, seniors also have not been given the normal activities. After talking with seniors, Magtutu understands how seniors are feeling this year. “Things are constantly changing or feel like they’re being pulled away from you in different ways, especially social activities, whether it’s sports, prom, or little traditions,” said Magtutu. In the fall time, for example, seniors did not get their last homecoming through the high school. The big spring event for seniors, prom, is still in debate whether it will happen or not. If there is no prom this year, for many seniors they will never have a prom. 

“We might not have a prom, so if we don’t I’ll never have gone to one because last year was canceled too,” said Hall. The student council at DHS is trying to plan an outside prom towards the end of April to give the seniors something to look forward to.

Along with all of the ritual events, sports have been in a constant change also. Hall participates in cross country, swim, and track. “In all the extracurriculars I do there are a lot of restrictions, but for the most part we’ve overcome them and I’m thankful for that,” said Hall. 

While all of the restrictions have changed sports, also senior traditions in sports have been changed. “There’s a lot of things we haven’t experienced like having certain senior year sports opportunities,” said Hall. Usually seniors get to celebrate playing their sports through senior nights, where coaches recognize them. This year most sports have not had a usual senior night because of the restrictions on the amount of people allowed. 

With all the bad going on through this senior year, there has also been some positive to come out of it. This pandemic has brought the school closer together because we have all been facing different hardships. “I think as a school we’ve come closer together and realized that we need to stick together to get through something like this,” said Hall. 

 Through all of the hardships everyone has had to face this year, people have been more willing to help these seniors out. “We’ve had more people want to step up in different ways, even if it’s not just for scholarship help. If it’s just for food or clothing to a family or student in need,” said Magtutu. All of the local scholarships are still strong and willing to help the seniors with their future goals this year.   

So even with all the things going on this year, seniors are still trying to find joy in the new things that have come this year. Seniors have been offered many opportunities to figure out their future plans online. Financial aid nights are offered more than one night now this year, instead of just usually one night. While you can’t tour colleges in person, online resources have become more accessible to do those things. 

“Anything that we can do to find little moments of joy, and thinking about the things that we can control really helps us get through this year as a group. Whether it’s helping plan a senior picnic or a senior sunrise, or just some kind of get together you plan with your friends, but keeping those little joys definitely helps us get through this and knowing that we’re not alone,” said Magtutu. 

Magtutu would like the community to know you can help seniors if interested. If you are an individual or organization with an interest in sponsoring a high school senior toward their college or career goals, please contact Delta High School Counseling Dept, Shawna Magtutu at [email protected] or 970-874-8031. There are numerous ways to give and support local seniors including a one-time donation to help with personal or immediate needs costs, start a college/trade scholarship, or contribute funds to existing scholarships that support DHS graduates.