Seniors’ Last Words on Virtual Celebrations During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Alexander Thorp

Bronx Science Class of 2020 seniors gather around the courtyard on November 1, 2020, the standard date for early college applications, for ‘Senior Scream’ in order to commemorate their efforts together.

“Canceled,” “suspended,” and “pushed back” are words that the Class of 2020 have come to be all too familiar with over the past couple of months. Schools have been closed for nearly two months now, and it has been officially announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that they will not reopen for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. Senior events such as prom and graduation have been either canceled or pushed back due to social distancing restrictions in place because of the Coronavirus pandemic, with the Bronx Science school administration managing the latter celebration through a virtual online platform.  Our Class of 2020 graduation ceremony will now be live-streamed in a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 26, 2020 at noon.

Although the Class of  2020 might not get to experience all of what their last semester had to offer in person, our seniors have been able to find ways to make their last months as Bronx Science students engaging. “I am definitely not happy about the situation, and I wish we could be back at school. But I am trying to make the best of it, for now, me and my friends have been facetiming very often, playing different online games every day,” said Anthony Bonavita ’20. 

It might seem like a sad ending, but there are still a couple of uplifting pieces of news. The Alumni Foundation has agreed to help this year’s seniors celebrate prom at a later date, with all expenses paid. “We might not get to have real prom, but at least knowing that I’ll still get to celebrate with all of my friends, even if it is at a later date, has been very uplifting,” said Emma Tiersten-Nyman ’20. Seniors might not be able to experience all of their second semester events in person, but some students have taken the initiative to keep certain events up and running virtually. Celeste Abourjeili ’20 started an Instagram account (@bronxscienceseniors) as a way to celebrate college decisions. “I feel that seniors lost the opportunity to celebrate college decisions and have their accomplishments highlighted in person, and I thought that creating a post for each and every committed senior would make a great substitute for college apparel day,” said Abourjeili. 

Many students have been able to take advantage of social media as a way to celebrate their friends’ as well as their own accomplishments. On May 1, 2020, the day officially known as “College Decision Day,” seniors made posts with their college merchandise proudly announcing where they plan to go for the next four years of their life. And for the past couple of months in quarantine, students have also been posting pictures of their friends announcing where they are going to college. “It’s for sure not as fun as celebrating with them personally, but I was still really proud of all of my friends and their accomplishments and wanted to make a post commemorating that,” said Tiersten-Nyman. 

Overall, students have found different ways to make the best of the situation, and regardless of how this year ends, the Class of 2020 will always have their friends and experiences to take with them wherever they go. Shmuel Padwa ’20, the Senior Council President, who has been in charge of organizing all virtual senior events so far, had a few words of comfort for his classmates. “Despite everything that the world has thrown at us, the talented, hard-working members of this grade are still smiling through adversity, and remaining connected as much as possible. I have full confidence in the Class of 2020 to weather this storm and come out even stronger, smarter, and more talented than they came in.”

“I have full confidence in the Class of 2020 to weather this storm and come out even stronger, smarter, and more talented than they came in,” said Shmuel Padwa ’20.

 
Tyler Pelayo
Pamela Li ’20 helps out during Senior Brunch, which was one of the last senior events held at school, where seniors came together to celebrate.

 

Lola Murti
Seniors dressed in retro clothing for Decades Day, one of the many senior spirit days held during the 2019-2020 academic year, before the Coronavirus pandemic closed schools in March 2020.
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