The Mirror | Van Nuys High School | June 2021 | Volume 107 |Issue 4

TheVNHSMirror

The student-produced newspaper at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, California. Awarded the prestigious NSPA Pacemaker Award, the CSPA Silver Crown and 2021 1st place SCJEA Newspaper.

theMIRROR | P R O & C O N |

| JUNE 2021 |17

My senior year that wasn’t

By ANDRE RODAS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | THE MIRROR

I’ve been robbed.

My buddy Maahir has

been robbed.

Every single high school

senior in L.A. got cheated.

Finally making it to the final

year of high school is something

that has been met with excitement,

but for the class of 2021 it’s

been a bittersweet finale.

No Senior Day, Grad Night or

prom. I’ve had my older friends

who have already graduated tell

me about how they had a great

prom experience. Others told

me it was boring and that my

friends and I aren’t missing out

on anything special. But the problem

with that is that we’ll never

truly know. Seniors celebrate

many milestones commemorating

their hard work over the past

four years but it’s unfortunate

none of us will be able to look

back at these events.

I know that for some, all these

canceled events aren’t a big deal.

That’s completely understandable.

While it isn’t the end of the

world, I do wish I could have had

a proper high school experience,

from beginning to end.

Many people were looking

forward to Grad Night. They were

looking forward to competing

against each other on Senior Day.

They were looking forward to

dancing at prom.Some students

had already purchased attire for

prom.

We never even got to do the

little things, like hanging out

on campus one last time with

friends. One thing I really wish I

could do again is sit in the bean

bag chairs in Room 112 with my

friends during lunch. It is something

that I will always remember

fondly.

I vividly recall the last day I sat

with Maahir, Alex, Tristan, Son,

John, Erick, Daniel, Mohamed,

Brad, Jeremiah, Joseph and

Jason. It was Friday the 13th in

March 2020. At the time we were

excited. It had just been announced

that schools would be

closing. We thought we would be

taking a short break from school

while things blew over. But, as

we sat there we didn’t realize it

would be for the last time.

Student athletes missed

out on a full final season and a

chance to win it all. There were

no crowds to cheer on the varsity

football team. No band to play.

No cheerleaders to shake their

pom poms as they showed their

school spirit.

Clubs missed out on activities

and outings. There were no trips

to competitions with friends and

classmates.

I was looking forward to going

to Seattle for the Fall NSPA Convention.

In March last year I was

supposed to go on a once-in-alifetime

school-sponsored trip to

New York City for the Columbia

University Journalism Association

Convention and Awards Ceremony.

I’ve never been to the Big

Apple and I was devastated when

covid-19 canceled the trip.

Over the summer I was supposed

to attend a three-week Environmental

Journalism conference

in Bar Harbor, Maine. I was

one of a few students across the

country who was invited to attend.

I worked hard on my application

which included a personal

essay that got me in. Another trip

canceled by covid-19.

To be honest, none of this

mattered to me until a few weeks

ago. When I first started senior

year online, it didn’t bother me.

It wasn’t until the year began to

draw to a close that I noticed

how much I had missed out on. I

realized that it did matter to me.

It matters a lot. I’m not angry

about it. No one is to blame. But

I am disappointed. I will never

have the opportunity to redo my

senior year.

The class of 2021 never got the

chance to be seniors. When the

school announced it was holding

an in-person graduation I felt

ambivalent. I have no emotional

connection to this past year so

it doesn’t come close to making

up for everything else that I’d

lost, but I do appreciate the effort

the school has made to end with

some tiny bit of normalcy.

Even after everything that has

happened, looking back, I have

enjoyed most of my high school

experience. My friends and I

made the most of what was given

to us.

When you surround yourself

with good people you’ll always

have a good time no matter

where you are, or what school

you attend, whether it is inperson

or virtual. This is what I

learned from my senior year that

wasn’t.

Rodas, Editor-in-Chief of The

Mirror, is a 2020-21 graduate.

A LOST YEAR From the absence of

Prom and Grad Nite to endless Zoom

calls, this year has been an unfulfilling

one for the Class of 2021.

THE MIRROR | IVAN DELGADO

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