As this year comes to a close, ℅ 22’s senior year leadership talks about plans for senior year and their hopes for an in-person finish to high school!

Namita Nair

Staff Writer

2021-2022 leadership team posing after a session of planning for senior year.

     As junior year comes to a close, class of 2022’s last year of high school looms closer. If ‘22 does not go back to school in the fall, their only full physical year of high school would be freshman year. As a junior myself, I have felt the weight of losing out on an entire year of friendships, memory-making, and fulfillment in living. The incoming leadership has felt this as well.

     With the Superintendent’s Newsletter giving us the tentative date of April 19th, there is even more hope that this could become a reality for AHS students. As for what school will look like when we return, Lauren Cervantes (11), ℅ 22’s newly elected senator has high hopes.

     “I know a lot of us executives were talking about this and we were saying that we were hoping that it’s all in person by next year especially for our senior year… And I also hope rallies are still available but again we’re really unsure. But we’re also preparing just in case, for everything to be online, so we’re preparing a good, strong council that will help us through everything that’s going to happen next year.”

     As Senator, Cervantes’ job is to advise the class President and Vice President, and help plan Spirit Week. The challenges in planning events for ℅ 22 is especially apparent because of the uncertainty that this pandemic has come with, but it seems that conversations are happening. This year alone, spirit week was done through creative avenues such as minecraft and fun videos, and events like online family feud and discord movie nights have had impressive attendance. The goal is to keep student engagement up.

     “I think the biggest challenge is going to be trying to create an enjoyable senior year for next year. I know like we’ve seen with, you know, 2020, and 2021 senior year, their senior year wasn’t as prepared and since we are, I just hope that it becomes enjoyable. I think a big thing that leadership is going to have a hard time with is just trying to create an enjoyable senior year like with prom, and homecoming… I feel like a big thing is just trying to make it enjoyable for all of our students,” stated Cervantes (11).

     Her fellow Senator, Samar Varma (11), acknowledges that times may be hard, but ℅ 22 is ready for it, taking inspiration from the previous seniors to start planning.

     “I think there will definitely be a significant lack of enthusiasm as compared to previous years, but I think one thing we can try to do is not only have online events. I know that seniors last year, for example, their senior sunrise, it wasn’t online or anything. I think some people met in small groups like three or four, and they were still able to experience a senior sunrise. So if we can organize things where we don’t all have to be together, but we can also interact safely and have these events, people might still be interested in participating, especially since it is our last year.”

     Planning for senior year has started, but successes from this year will prove to be a great example. 22 hosted a variety of online game nights and competitions in an effort to keep the class connected, and encouraged a more diverse audience to join in the activities through the virtual nature of the events. These plans could act as a blueprint to keep spirits up next year. 

     “We had more hashtags than every other class combined, there were like 40,000 posts in there, and people were really participating. I think that the benefits of online events are really amazing because there are people who just don’t like being in loud rooms and I completely get that. And those people got to participate for the first time this year, they got to participate in game shows, they got to join us on Discord for game nights, they got to listen to music that we made, they got to play music we made, they got to play video games. I think that having all of this variety because we’re online is so much more appealing, and being able to combine that with the original in-person events will give us a much broader audience than we used to cater to,” says future ℅ 22 class president Hershy Karthikeyan (11).

     The technology used this year was definitely impressive, and it helped reduce the costs associated with class spirit events. This leaves ‘22 in a position that many classes before never had the chance to be in.

     “The only money we really spent was just on the Minecraft server for Spirit Week, but besides that all our money has been pretty solid since we don’t really have any events that we need to spend money on,” explains Karthikeyan.

     So what does the budget look like for senior year events? Are the traditional senior year events such as prom and grad night still viable? Most likey, say the future 2022 officers.

     “We do believe that these traditions still can be continued,” Varma states.

     “We’ve created a system where we’re basically putting fundraisers at least once a month, sometimes we maybe skip a month and combine a couple months. But most of the time we’ve been doing once a month fundraisers just to keep our budget [up],” elaborates Karthikeyan.

     As we get closer to the end of Junior year, most of ‘22 is looking forward to fulfilling traditions that have been the proverbial cherry on top for most Eagles’ high school experiences. 

     “I’m looking forward to those definitely Spirit Week, because that’s just one of my favorite events,” exclaims Naina Kalra (11), current spirit week commissioner in 22’s council.

     “I would say [I’m looking forward to] reopening when we’re going back to school itself. That’s not an actual event, but just the idea of bringing everyone back and adding events to make bringing everyone back so much more exciting,” Karthikeyan asserts.

     Most of AHS would agree with her, and with the increase in teachers being vaccinated, we may all be walking through Gateway sooner than expected. And it looks like the 2021-2022 senior leadership is ready to roll. We can only wait to see what the future holds!

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