Seniors at a loss after events canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

Maria Ruiz

Shanna Aghasi

[This story was updated at 6 p.m. to include the Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Austin Beutner’s announcement that a car parade can be held to celebrate the seniors.]

The cancelation of rite of passage events such as prom, Grad Nite at Disneyland and of course, prom, has left many seniors sad and without closure as their high school years came to an abrupt end due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s like a part of my life has been taken away from me,” senior Jakob Cohen said. 

High school students usually look forward to their senior year because it’s when they are celebrated for all their hard work for the past four years. From prom to senior ditch day, most seniors are devastated to know they won’t get to take part in these senior traditions. They weren’t able to spend the last few months together with their friends before going off to college. It will be painful for students to not have a proper goodbye with all the teachers and classmates who have been there throughout the years.

Originally, prom was supposed to be on May 16 and Grad Nite was supposed to be on June 12 at Disneyland. While there was no actual in-person prom, senior sponsors Leah Pevar and JoAnne Tuell organized a prom court election.  Christopher Sarenana and Brenda De Dios were voted prom king and queen. Queen Baskerville and Bianca Lam were voted prom princesses and Larry Chavez and Ethan Zinshteyn were voted prom princes.  The court was announced on May 20.

Achievements of the graduating class will be celebrated virtually during the Senior Awards Night on May 28 at 6:30 p.m via Zoom. To maintain social distancing during this pandemic, graduation will be held virtually on June 11. A car parade is also being planned to celebrate the graduates, Principal Pia Damonte posted on Schoology. Students or their parents will be able to pick up their caps and gowns a week before graduation.

In light of social distancing, students are finding alternative ways to celebrate their graduating years. They’re having a more personal prom, a family party or planning their own events after the pandemic is over. 

“I’m very disheartened by the cancelation of senior activities but I know that no matter what, my friends and I will make up anything that we didn’t get to do,” senior Katharina Hanna said. “We’re planning our own mini prom which will be fun. it’s at least something to be excited about.” 

Although it feels unfair that most senior events are canceled, many students simply can’t wait to go to the colleges they’ve worked so hard to get into. The graduation itself, going to their dream college or starting off a future goal are the things no senior wants to lose.

 “It doesn’t really matter that things like prom, grad night and graduation are canceled. As long as we graduate in June and get to start college in the fall I’m fine,” said senior Ximena Renteria, who will be attending California State University, Northridge.