Seniors talk missing the end of high school

Apr 28, 2020

Schools will remain closed for the rest of the year.

For high school seniors, that means they will never return to Wareham High as a student. 

Graduation and prom will be delayed -- and likely very different than students have envisioned.

And many athletes have missed their final sports season.

“We worked so hard to get to this point. This is supposed to be the best part -- the part we’ve all really been waiting for, and that’s all been ripped away,” said Rayana Bonner, the social chair for the senior class.

The seniors said that they are also missing closure. 

“Another thing that really hurts is the fact that we didn’t know that our last day was going to be our last day,” said Bonner. “Now, all we have is those last moments of Mr. Palladino over the intercom saying that we might be out for a few weeks.”

Jasmine Black, the senior class president, said that schools closed shortly before most of the fun events students had planned, including the Mr. Wareham pageant. Later in the spring, seniors were set to go on a class trip to Disney World, and celebrate Senior Week. Black, who was set to be the captain of the softball team, was especially disappointed to miss that season and softball senior night.

Even when restrictions are lifted, the students noted that there is no guarantee it would be safe for large groups to gather for graduations or proms.

Black said that the senior class met with Principal Scott Palladino over zoom to discuss possible graduation alternatives, including a parade of cars through the center of Wareham, a modified in person graduation on the field, or an all-virtual graduation, which she said no one seemed to want.

“It’s just a lot of moments that we’ve looked forward to for a long time, so it’s hard to see them all stop at the same time,” said Julianne Matthews, the senior class secretary.

While they are still in touch with teachers and classmates online, the three said that isn’t the same as being in school together.

“I definitely didn’t realize how much I would miss just sitting in a classroom with my friends,” said Black.

Matthews said that although she always thought she wouldn’t miss high school and that she was looking forward to graduating, she said she has been sad to see the “longest chapter of my life so far cut short.”

Doing schoolwork from home is another challenge, the students said, as they are now completely in charge of managing their own time.

“It’s a completely different environment,” Matthews said. She noted that having access to her phone all day has been an added challenge.

And the seniors can’t afford to slack off, as they are still applying to scholarships and communicating with colleges.

“You have to continue to do the work while also being sad,” Matthews said. “And not easily distracted.”

Black, Bonner, and Matthews are all planning to attend college this fall, and said that they might begin their college experience remotely -- certainly not what they had been anticipating.

Black will be studying business management at Bridgewater State University, Bonner will study Developmental Child Psychology at Lesley University, and Matthews will study biology at Providence College.