As per the decision from the Oklahoma State Board of Education on March 25, all Oklahoma schools are closed for the remainder of the school year. This, of course, is due to the pandemic that is sweeping the world.
Hopefully, things will be back to normal next school year, and students can return.
Most students would be excited to not have wake up early every morning and sit through hour-long classes. However, students who were seniors this school year have been given a raw deal. The thought of missing out on senior activities hurts, but for some seniors, it stings even more.
Kristen Chapa is not only a senior at Madill High School, she is also the class Valedictorian and in multiple extra-curricular activities. She said that a typical senior year is already emotional, but this one was anything but typical.
“Senior year is always emotional,” Chapa said. “There’s just so many last times, but this is harder since I didn’t know some of my last times were my last times.”
Chapa said it is sad she will not get the chance to do any of her final senior activities.
“It’s hard knowing that I won’t get to do those senior lasts like walk my childhood halls, attend prom, or even do alumni week,” Chapa said.
Ashlynn Arnold, another Madill senior said the pandemic shut downs just snowballed for her.
“Well it all started at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, when we were shut down and were not able to show our market livestock,” Arnold said, “hoping it would only last a few weeks and very disappointed when we found out that we would not be able to return to our senior year.”
Arnold said that the reality of the shut downs have been brutal.
“Reality hit that we would not be able to have any FFA events,” Arnold said.
Not being able to say goodbye as a senior is another thing Arnold said she will miss.
“This semester was the semester to get our “closure” moments,” Arnold said. “We will never get to experience a senior prank, senior skip day, alumni week and getting to walk through the schools in our cap in gown; all in all, it’s pretty sad and can’t believe it’s happened. The only way we will be able to have a prom and graduation would be after the pandemic. Who would have thought we had our last day of school and not even knowing it?”
Ryan Shahan, a Madill senior said he feels incomplete with school shutting down so soon in the semester. “It’s been upsetting, because I feel like I have a lot left to do that will never get to happen like another state track meet, prom, and class memories with my friends,” Shahan said.
Another senior, EJ Holiday, said the pandemic has robbed him of his entire senior year. “The pandemic overall has really taken away a big portion of my senior year,” Holiday said. “It ended my soccer season too soon, which I was really enjoying already. The soccer team had a really great start. I was also looking forward to going to my senior prom and walking across the stage in May. I thought I had a couple months left to hang out with friends at school that I might not see after I graduate.”
Some seniors, like Chapa, are taking the down time to look on the inside and make it a learning experience.
“I’ve had more time to focus on me and finally take a deep breath,” Chapa said. “I’ve worked on my cooking skills. I’ve remodeled a bathroom.”
Chapa said this has proved to her that things can changed drastically in your life, and you just have to figure out how to roll with it.
“In my head, before the pandemic, I had the rest of senior year planned,” Chapa said. “I planned on how softball would go, how prom would be, and even started writing my Valedictorian speech for graduation, but now I realize plans change, life changes and things don’t turn out how you think they will.”
Chapa said this has been an epic life lesson to learn from.
“Yes, I am sad, but all I can do now is prepare for the rest of my life.”