From the typical issues that come with online school to SAT cancellations, with this year’s transition to a digital platform and the pressure of college admissions, Fort Lauderdale High School’s seniors have many concerns. Seniors are having trouble grappling with this year’s changes.
“Honestly, this is not what I expected my senior year to be. It’s hard seeing everyone graduate and participate in their senior year and for us, we’re stuck at home,” senior Bry’Anna Dorelien shared. “It’s also a struggle because we send our transcripts this year, and I am missing some of the requirements, which makes it all confusing. I really wanted to be able to spend a great senior year with my friends and have the full high school experience.”
On March 14 students switched from in-person schooling to online school for the remainder of the year, due to COVID-19. On account of this year’s continued computerized model, service hours have become a pressing issue. The 40 hour requirement for graduation still stands, and the Bright Futures Scholarship maintains its service hour stipulation. Students who attend FLHS can get the Bright Futures scholarship through their Advanced Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma and 100 service hours. However, without the option of in-person volunteering, some students wrestle with getting hours before the deadline.
“I still need 50 more hours to reach 100,” senior Madelinne Hernandez commented.
“Thankfully, I have already met all the service hour requirements needed for graduation and several scholarships; however, I have quite a few friends who are currently struggling with it,” senior Karin Rashid added. “It’s just difficult to earn service hours online, especially with the high demand for them now.”
However, this is not the case for all students. Jack McCoy, like many other students, has not yet met the requirement, but he has a plan to satisfy his need for hours.
“I have a lot of things lined up to do my service hours, such as beach way clean ups, fostering animals, and helping at the Davie P.A.L,” Jack McCoy (12) explained. “I am not worried about doing these services during the pandemic. Everyone is doing their best to stay safe, so as long as everyone does their part, then we will be okay.”
The prospect of senior year also comes with talk of college admissions. Seniors are gaining their footing in the college admissions world with the pandemic, but many are still tackling issues with standardized testing.
Upperclassmen have struggled with test cancellations. The SAT and ACT have cancelled multiple test dates to prevent students from catching the virus, but it is at the expense of scores needed for college applications. Though many schools are opting for a test-optional policy this admissions cycle, many students still face anxiety, especially surrounding Florida schools that have committed to the testing requirement.
“I definitely do have anxiety when it comes to test cancellations since I feel like my preparation has not been worth anything. I signed up for both the ACT and SAT a couple of times, and they have been canceled all those times,” Rashid expressed. “I am glad many schools are going test optional, but I still want to have a score to put there for my academic standing.”
Not all students are stressed surrounding test dates, some are relieved.
“I feel more relief about test cancellations than anxiety,” Hernandez said. “There is always so much stress when it comes to taking tests like APs or AICE that when one is cancelled, I feel like a weight is lifted from my shoulders.”
With this relief comes the much anticipated senior activities. Class officers are working around the clock to ensure senior year is special in these unprecedented times.
“As a class officer, I know that we are trying to make senior year as great as possible,” Rashid, who is the Class of 2021 Secretary, said.
Seniors have been receptive to the activities planned for them and are hoping for the best.
“At first, it was very disheartening to know that we possibly might not have any activities at all. However, last year foreshadowed what might occur this year, so it wasn’t a major surprise,” senior Lela William said. “If we do have our senior activities such as prom, Grad Bash, the senior barbecue and senior brunch, it would be a pleasure to go and at least experience a few of these events with our Class of 2021.”
This is going to be a tumultuous senior year. Last year’s seniors have passed the torch, and it is certain this year’s seniors will rise to the challenge.
In the words of Hernandez, “[We’ll] try to make the best out of this situation.”