The class of 2021: a league of our own

Seniors grapple with the ambivalence of a year unlike any other


Grace Breslin pictured on her first day of senior year.

Madison Dutcher, Co-Editor, Student Life

No one expected the 2021 seniors to not have a normal senior year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rancocas Valley Regional High School has been in hybrid learning this fall. Many seniors did not picture their senior year like this. Senior year is one of the most important years. The year is typically filled with many of the lasts (homecoming, prom, football games, Disney trip). However, due to the virus many activities are locked in a perpetual state of “unknown.” 

Senior Jenna Pasquarello especially misses the small things this school year. “This was supposed to be the year we were all in the parking lot together. All the seniors were supposed to be up front in the football game,” Pasquarello said. One of the things to look forward to in the last year of high school is receiving a parking pass; walking into school with your friends and being surrounded by other seniors in the parking lot is an exhilarating feeling.

“It’s definitely a lot different. There wasn’t really a full end to junior year. Sometimes I forget I am even a senior… it felt like a really long weird break that I had no closure with for junior year,” said Senior Grace Breslin. In general, seniors wish to see their friends, as this is one of the last times to be with everyone before graduation. 

RV is known for its school spirit as football games demonstrate the majority of student participation. The sense of community RV represents during the games as you gaze upon the student section is unimaginable. However, the majority of seniors were not able to attend their last high school football games.

“I have worked closely with Mr. Martin and Mr. Lamb to get a football game for the seniors. However, it didn’t pan out due to different COVID reasons,” said Senior Matthew Haney. Other seniors have decided to exhibit their school spirit by attending soccer games instead. Haney decided to take it upon himself to start a fanclub during the boys’ and girls’ soccer games. Many of the games have included themes with the fanclub boys chanting cheers that would usually be heard during the football games. The boys also use a drum set to evoke excitement within the student section and promote school spirit. 

Another major opportunity seniors have is early out, which means they are able to leave school early. Many students have taken the option of early out, which is very helpful for mental health according to Matthew Haney.

Students have been feeling overwhelmed with the school year while adapting to a new schedule claims Grace Breslin. The option to have early out allows seniors to focus on school work, jobs and sports. “I love the idea of early out. I have a job, so it’s nice I can go to my job during the day and then do my homework at night. I have spare time with early out, which allows me to use my time wisely,” said Breslin. 

Additionally, one of the most stressful parts of senior year is sending out college applications. Seniors are feeling overwhelmed with the process due to the inability to have in-person discussions with teachers reading over their personal essays or their guidance counselors who have been trying their best to provide support to the students. “They gave me a to-do list of what I needed with Naviance and Common App. They made the process a little easier when I was applying,” said Breslin. 

A lot of seniors have been feeling blue due to virtual learning, and adapting to the virtual format has not been easy. “We only have about 150 kids on the Class of 2021 classroom page, so 300 are missing out on what’s going on. The communication gap is really tough right now,” said Senior Class Advisor Karen Carlson.

With online learning, it’s difficult to ask questions during a shorter time period and there isn’t enough time to interact with the students and teachers. However, teachers are trying their best to make the most out of the situation. “I have been really impressed with the teachers and how they have taken advantage of the technology to improve all of our learning,” said Haney. 

The graduating class of 2021 is missing out the most compared to other grades. The seniors are not guaranteed a prom, senior trip, football games, or homecoming. “We didn’t know that last year could possibly be our last for everything,” said Pasquarello. No one can look into the future and promise a normal senior year in the springtime. It’s very difficult for seniors to keep their heads up without anything set in stone. “It’s really tough when you can’t get together. I just feel helpless as an advisor. We keep trying things and they keep getting cancelled on us,” said Carlson. 

Even though there is an unknown, seniors are trying their best to keep their hopes up. The seniors have recently had a class trip meeting and the other foreign country trips are still planning to leave in the spring. “We have a go on a senior trip and prom. We are keeping our fingers crossed and hope that students are careful over the holiday break, so we can come back strong in the spring,” said Carlson. Seniors are still hoping to have one last opportunity.

Pasquarello said, “All we can do is hope, but we just don’t know.”