Graduates Reflect on their Pandemic Senior Year

Ashley Sanchez, Isabella Crow and Anastasia Zhurova had a senior year of school like no other.

Each of the Hudson Valley residents did not know what to expect from their milestone year.

Cornwall Central High School graduate Crow is currently working at Camp Lookout in Frankfurt, Michigan. She will attend the University of Michigan this fall.

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Isabella Crow (Courtesy: Cornwall Center High School)

“I am concerned I have lost my work ethic after skating by for many months,” said Crow in an email. “It sounds silly, but I feel like I lost the ability to push myself.”

Zhurova, a John S. Burke Catholic High School graduate, says she is mostly relieved that her senior year is over. She is headed to New York University.

#senior #pandemic #reflections
Anastasia Zhurova (Courtesy Photo)

“This was probably the most difficult year in my high school career,” she said. “I’m looking forward.”

Having spent school mostly at home, Crow is excited to live in another state and have an adventure in her childhood camp.

“It feels like my graduation gift to myself,” she said, “just to be outside and screen-free after a year of virtual school, and be present in the moment.”

Back in New York, Ashley Sanchez is anticipating her graduation next week from John Jay High School.

#senior #pandemic #reflections
Ashley Sanchez (Courtesy: Prestige Portraits)

“I’m excited but nervous to go to college,” she said. “I’m hoping [the pandemic] will be better.”

Sanchez heads to the State University of New York in Binghamton for her freshman year.

Lessons Learned

Zhurova and Crow felt that their unprecedented senior year gave them a sense of independence.

“I think that I’m ready for college,” said Zhurova. “I definitely grew as a student this year.”

Zhurova learned to cook, embrace fitness and strengthen her friendships.

Crow learned she could make it on her own.

“I entered the pandemic as a high school junior and I left it as an adult living hundreds of miles away from family,” said Crow.

Sanchez became more grateful every day.

“You have to be grateful for what you have right now,” said Sanchez. “You never know when you get a second chance on anything.”

They each also felt their senior year gave them a chance to be more open about their mental health.

“I don’t think beforehand we [talked] about it too much,” said Sanchez.

“I would like to think that people use social media, not just to, post pictures of their recent vacation or anything along those lines,” said Zhurova, “but also to post something that’s just transparent and talk about their mental health.”

Crow also agrees that young people in society today are more aware of their mental health.

“I hope we carry that awareness forward in how we handle school and working life as a culture,” she said.

Published by Mallika Rao

Freelance Writer, Blogger

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