Marion senior Chloe Burkholder said life after schools have been shut will be a huge change.
“It’s definitely weird to think that we won’t be going back to school normally,” she said. “I don’t think any senior expected their senior year to end the way it did. Not being able to participate in spring sports one last time, and not being able to have graduation.”
Prom is another event that will be difficult for students to miss.
Finding an alternative to prom would be special because it would ensure students’ efforts don’t go to waste, Peabody-Burns junior Gavin Davis-Andrews said.
“That would be something great,” he said. “It would be kind of a big deal because as a junior, our class is the one that gets everything together for prom and sets it up.”
One of the biggest losses for Davis-Andrews is being unable to participate in Peabody-Burns’ dinner theater.
“That’s our biggest show of the year,” he said. “We’d been singing and dancing for it, and practicing for months already. Now it’s canceled.”
Davis-Andrews is still processing the reality of having his junior year cut short.
“Cool, we don’t have school, but the more I’m thinking about it, I realize it’s my junior year and I’m not getting stuff I need to have done,” he said. “I still have classes I need to take and now I don’t have that opportunity.”
Burkholder has the advantage of already taking online classes through Butler Community College.
“I kind of know what to expect and have the motivation to do it,” she said.
In addition to understanding how distance learning operates, Burkholder said it’s a benefit having most of her college preparation for Fort Hays State University completed.
Having Internet access for online resources remains a concern for many students, however, she and Davis-Andrews each said.
“A lot of students here don’t have Internet access and can’t do those things because we live in the country,” Davis-Andrews said. “I’m not even sure we’ll be able to do that now.”
Even when schools reopen sometime in the future, integrating back into regular school life will require more effort, Davis-Andrews said.
“One of my biggest concerns whenever we get back on track is actually catching up,” he said.
At the same time, being out of school could prove advantageous because students will need to handle having increased independence, Burkholder said.
“It’ll make people be more independent,” she said. “You won’t have teachers telling you all the time that you need to get work done or reminding you to do things.”
Family is important because family members provide stability with limited personal contact, Davis-Andrews said.
“All you have is what’s in your house,” he said. “If you don’t have a good home life, if you don’t have something there, things are going to get bad for those people.”
Staying in touch with peers might be more difficult.
Burkholder said she still tries to communicate with friends by cell phone, and they are already planning to keep in contact.
“It’s definitely important,” she said. “It helps to talk to other people going through the same thing, like other seniors.”
In addition to all five districts in Marion County canceling face-to-face classes, Tabor College announce Tuesday all classes would take place online. The campus will remain closed to all non-employee personnel.