Overcoming obstacles with optimism

Amaya Rothrock, Editor in Chief

Senior year of high school is something that almost everyone looks forward to. It’s the “lasts” for everything, including the Friday night football games, dances, and for some, the last times they will get to see their friends before entering the “real world.” However, seniors across the globe are finding themselves realizing that they probably already had their “lasts” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New regulations prevent large social gatherings, spectators at fall sports, and normal social interactions, making the school year very different and difficult for some. 

Although my senior year has many new changes that I never anticipated, I have managed to find ways to make my time here fun. I have been going into school with a positive attitude and I have accepted the fact that this year is something that nobody expected and there isn’t really anything to do that will change the way things are going. 

A major change this year at Bellefonte High is the new seating arrangement at lunch. Lunch consists of rows of desks, each desk assigned to a student, all spaced six feet apart. Students are dismissed by row to grab their prepackaged lunch and then file back to their seats. The lunch room tends to be pretty quiet since students are no longer sitting with their friends, but I found a way to make it amusing by Facetiming my friends who are also at lunch. That way I can still socialize with my friends in a safe way. This also gives me a chance to call my friends who graduated last year and I can catch up with them. I have adjusted to this and now I might actually prefer the way lunch is now. It gives me a break in my time to catch up on school work and call my friends that I don’t get to talk to as often. 

Not only was the lunch setting changed, but the classroom setting is also very different from previous years. Students have to stay in their assigned seats so they do not contaminate things and teachers will be able to have documentation of who is around who. This means that I cannot sit with my friends in class or go up to talk to them as a large group during free time. This has been something that has taken a lot of adjusting to considering I am an outgoing and talkative person, but I have found ways to work around these rules in a cautious way. My friends and I are constantly sending each other funny Instagram posts, TikTok videos, or just texting to communicate with each other during free time in class. We can also chat with each other six feet apart. 

Another disappointing change this year was the new sports regulation regarding the spectators at football games. Cheering the football team on with Raider Nation was something I have always been excited to do as the school year starts, so this news was really disappointing. However, the school decided they will broadcast the games on local television stations, giving my friends the idea to host “football watch parties.” Everyone brings their own snacks and we socially distance while we watch the games and each party will have a different theme, similar to the ones that the traditional Raider Nation did in the past years. Co-Leaders of Raider Nation, seniors Kira Watson and Bobby Marsh, also announced that each Friday when there is a home football game, students can show their spirit at school by dressing up for a chosen theme. I think the student body will be able to make the best out of the situation we have been dealt with regarding sports events and find creative ways to make the fall sports season exciting in a safe way.  

I have been taking the school year day by day because as of now everything is unknown. Nobody knows what will happen with sports, if we will go online, or if things will improve. I have dealt with the pandemic for six months so far, and through my experience I have learned to maintain a positive attitude. While things are very different right now and disappointing at times, it is best to look at the bright side and figure out unique ways to safely have fun with my friends. Dwelling on the fact that it will be a different senior year than anyone has ever experienced will not help the situation. From this experience, I learned to take the situations life hands me and turn them into a positive thing.