A new normal for Eureka’s seniors

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Courtesy of Brent Pearson

Eureka’s varsity field hockey celebrates their senior night, October 5.

Senior year is the year of spirit weeks, school dances, and other traditions that Eureka seniors have partaken in for years. This year, however, online learning has Eureka seniors creating a new normal for their senior year.

On the first day of school, despite having only online classes, some seniors participated in senior sunrise, during the first weekend of October, some seniors created their own versions of Homecoming and many fall sports are ending their seasons with a senior night. Many seniors still intend on taking part in traditions and creating new senior traditions, even if it has to be adjusted to support students during the pandemic. 

“Senior traditions have been different this year,” Cela Van Lieshout, 12, said. “While we can’t necessarily have a Catpound for football or even have a spirit week in person, we have started new traditions. I think new traditions like that have helped to make everyone feel at least a little normalcy.” 

While seniors are still finding a way to practice the most popular Eureka traditions, many seniors have created smaller traditions to make day-to-day life more normal.

“My friends and I try to do FaceTimes during lunch whenever we catch a break and we run cross country,” Kylie Ghormley, 12, said. 

Outside of the traditions of senior year, students are using this time to focus on academics to prepare for the transition to college. 

“I’m trying not to look on the bad side, I’m trying to use this as a time to get serious about my grades. There are no distractions like there usually is in class, so online makes it easier to get stuff done.” Jake Feick, 12, said. “I still sometimes reach out to some of my favorite teachers since I may never see them again.”

For some, no matter how many senior year traditions are created or readjusted, they feel this year is full of disappointments. 

“This senior year has just been a bulldozer, expecting us to easily comply and go along like nothing is wrong,” Faith Thompson, 12, said. “But it is wrong. We are not okay and yet it is like the world will not notice.”

With a year that’s already stressful for many seniors, the new circumstances can add to that stress for many students. 

“I personally do not have many stress relievers anymore. Either COVID or a busy schedule trying to fill up the hours of the day has taken over that idea of relaxation.” Thompson said.

Just as seniors have had to get out of the box with Eureka traditions, many have had to think outside of the box with their stress relievers as well. 

“I am hanging out with friends and family. I am doing things for myself too. I am also taking fun classes this quarter.” Sidney Durbin, 12, said. “For paintings and ceramics, they gave us supplies so we can work from home.”

With a year full of uncertainties and an uncommon close to high school, Eureka seniors are looking to make the best of the circumstances given to them.