High school seniors reflect on missed traditions

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Many high school seniors are trying to make the best of their last year after losing so many end-of-year events they had hoped to experience. 

Brighton Brown, a senior at Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas, said, “It’s kind of ironic. We all used to wish school would get canceled for bad weather or whatever, but this is a sad way to end our senior year.”

Brighton Brown said he is having some fun with his senior pictures in quarantine by sitting in a hot tub wearing his cap and gown. (Photo courtesy of Bridey Brown.)

Brown said he was looking forward to FMHS’s senior sunset when all of the seniors go up to the bleachers at the top of their football stadium and watch the sun go down on their last day of school.

“Senior sunset was supposed to be our official goodbye to our time as high schoolers,” Brown said. “And now we won’t have that.”

Chandler Saxon, another senior at FMHS, said he would miss the tradition of visiting his elementary school and seeing all of his old friends. 

Saxon said during the visit, seniors line up and parade through the halls of their elementary school while being applauded by the elementary school students and their teachers.  

Charlotte Litchfield, a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, California, said distance learning doesn’t bother her as much as not getting to experience her school’s end-of-year traditions with her friends. 

“It has definitely been annoying,” Litchfield said. “Just sitting at home getting your work done when you thought you’d be spending these past few months with your friends.”

Litchfield said she’s also going to miss out on her school’s senior ditch day when PVPHS organizes a trip for seniors to go to Disneyland. 

“I watched my older sister go two years ago, and I’d been looking forward to it ever since,” she said.

Another event in question for many seniors is their graduation ceremony. 

Litchfield said her graduation, though still scheduled for its original date, could be pushed back to summer or even winter break of 2020.

Seniors graduating from high schools in Denton County will get to graduate on their originally planned dates, and all ceremonies will take place at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Seniors wanted to graduate with their classmates and their families in attendance, said Dr. Kevin Rogers, the superintendent of schools for the Lewisville Independent School District–of which FMHS is a part.

In addition to crossing the finish line, students walking across the stage for their diplomas will be projected onto a 12-story, 218-foot-wide video board nicknamed “Big Hoss.”

Rogers assured students and family members that social distancing would be practiced throughout the ceremony.

Students will be seated on pit row in chairs that are six feet apart, wearing their gowns and masks that match their school’s colors, Rogers said. He also said family members will be able to view the ceremony from their cars, which can be parked in the infield.

“I’m going to finish my senior year by crossing the literal finish line at the Texas Motor Speedway,” Brown said. “How many people can say they did that?”