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Senior Strife


Students reveal their reactions to school being closed their senior year

It was only supposed to be a two week closure when schools first closed Mar. 13, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that two weeks turned into three, and eventually the entire school year

Senior Quinn Fundaro.

 was set to be held over distance learning. For the next 11 months, the campus lay barren, devoid of the comings-and-goings of the 2,000 some students that learned and socialized there. 

Some seniors are expressing immense disappointment due to the school being closed during their final year of high school. In a survey taken by 69 seniors at Paso Robles High School, 57 responded with a score of four or five when asked about their feelings, with a score of five being “extremely disappointed.” Quinn Fundaro expressed that his disappointment was from not being able to attend school events. 

“This year has been a major bummer for me. I had purposely not been going to school events because I was saving them for my senior year. I still to this day have never been to a high school dance, so this has definitely ruined my highschool experience,” Fundaro stated.  


Senior Trinity Holland.

Other seniors share Fundaro’s same concern, as 13 of the 69 respondents answered that the absence of school dances, events and pep rallies was the most frustrating aspect of school closure. Of the remaining 56 responses, 21 were most frustrated by the lack of in-person instruction and seeing friends, 21 missed participating in sports seasons and competing, and the remaining 14 shared their individual frustrations about a different aspect of the closure.


As each senior completes their final year of high school, a phenomena known as “senioritis” sometimes occurs, where burnout from previous years of school and the knowledge that their high school career will soon end leads to a lack of motivation. The 69 senior respondents were asked if their feelings of “senioritis” were worsened by school closure and a lack of school-related activities; on a 1-5 scale, with 5 meaning that it heavily contributed, 57 responded with a score of 4 or 5. Senior Trinity Holland experienced worsened “senioritis” and attributed it to how long the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to prolong a return to school.

“I feel like we have been in this year limbo for so long that it either doesn’t even feel like my senior year, or it feels like it should have been over with already,” Holland stated. 

The prolonged return to school has been enforced by public health officials and the district board of education due to the increased number of cases that San Luis

Senior Sherman Arend.

Obispo county had been experiencing throughout the last 11 months. There were only two confirmed cases that immediately followed the Mar.13 closure, which now pale in comparison to the 1,995 active cases as of Jan. 29. Despite the authorities’ decision, 38.8 percent of 67 respondents contend that although the pandemic presented an inherent risk to public health, school still deserved to be opened with regulations to reduce the virus’ spread. Senior Sherman Arend voiced his frustration about government control in regards to the pandemic.

“I wish our government didn’t feel the need to babysit everyone,” Arend stated. 

Others were in favor of government control to slow the spread of the virus and felt that the closure might not have lasted so long if members of our county took the virus more seriously. 

Senior Melissa Mendoza.

“I wish that people didn’t make COVID-19 a political thing by disagreeing with and going against policies that were put in place like social distancing, wearing masks and not grouping together. I think that if everyone had just followed the rules and not cried about it, that our cases might be lower and students would be attending school by now,” Melissa Mendoza stated.  

Distance learning brought feelings of frustration and burnout for some, but 68.1% of the 69 respondents admitted to there being positive aspects of distance learning, with 60.9% enjoying the extra free time spent outside of class. For senior Annaleza Myhand, school closure has allowed her the time to seek personal growth and strengthen her relationships. 

“Spending time with my best friend, my boyfriend, and getting the ability to get closer with my family and my boyfriend’s family is amazing. I feel like distance learning has honestly helped me mentally and emotionally. Over the time we’ve been out of school I feel like I’ve grown up a little and I’m now so excited for my dreams to come true as I grow older,” Myhand stated. 

Senior Annaleza Myhand.

 The positive and negative aspects of distance learning will remain as long as school closures continue with no clear end in sight, but rumors of a return to in-person instruction in March may mean that the rigors of online schooling will soon come to an end. 

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