Seniors Stay Home: Class of ‘21 Opts Out of In-Person Studies

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Dennis Racket

Senior Stay Home: For seniors like Matt Love, staying in a virtual format seems like the best way to close out senior year. Many others seniors have also made this decision to “wave the white flag” on their far from normal last year of high school.

The biggest change to school life since the start of the COVID pandemic has undoubtedly been the move to a virtual learning format. North Atlanta students were not alone in navigating this new normal, as millions of students across the country and around the world were forced to adapt overnight to an entirely new learning platform.

But that is soon to change for some, as APS gears up to implement Phase Two of its “Return and Learn” plan, which gives students the option to return to school in-person. But not all Warriors are embracing this long-awaited return to school, with statistics from the intent to return declaration showing that 60 percent of Warriors will continue virtual learning through the third quarter term. And what has come as a surprise to many is that the majority of this year’s graduating Class of 2021 are opting to remain virtual. That’s right, many seniors have made the official decision to stay home and opt not to have any of their senior year in the 11-story building that’s housed them for their high school years. 

Zoe Glickman is among the many seniors who has opted out of returning to school in February and says she will be finishing out the remainder of her senior year in her pajamas at home. The prevalence of COVID — or the risk of contracting it — was a major factor in Glickman’s decision to stay home and she added that she doesn’t fully trust some of her peers because of their failure to follow social-distancing guidelines. Glickman, who has come down with a serious case of senioritis, also sees the return to in-person as “too much” and values her ability to sleep in and work late as a server and waitress at restaurant O-Ku Sushi. And as far as her hopes for a “normal” senior year go, Glickman says that there were no good options from the start, but that she’s grateful because it could be worse. “It wouldn’t feel ‘normal’ and at the end of the day, we’re so close to graduating that it’s not really worth it to go back in,” she said.

Fellow senior Matt Love is also joining Glickman in virtual school for the remainder of his final year as a Warrior. For Love, there wasn’t a concrete reason as to why he chose to stay virtual. He just said it didn’t seem that appealing to go back. This appeared to be a common view among many of his friends and senior classmates, who have taken to sharing their opinions on the matter in the Senior Group Me. Like Glickman, Love is also disappointed in how his senior year turned out but is thankful for the time he gets to spend with his friends, even if it’s over FaceTime. He was quick to add one final thought on COVID’s impact on seniors. “Unfortunately we’ve adapted to the idea of quarantine, at least for the foreseeable future,” Love said. “My friends and I have gotten used to the idea of being virtual until at least our freshman year of college and now we’re trying our best to take it one day at a time.”

Warriors are preparing to enter the building, but absent from our halls will be much of the Class of ‘21. The senior class is staying home this year, but they are making the best out of their time spent out of our 11 stories. Whether it’s late nights spent serving sushi and racking up tips like Glickman, or fun nights spent with friends like Love, you can be sure that although not in the building, our senior Dubs are not letting Corona stop them from having a killer last year as a Warrior.