DENVER – Life during the coronavirus pandemic has been tough on all of us. From frontline workers having to work long hours and face exposure at every hour, to seniors unable to see their families, to parents having to shuffle their life around unexpectedly each day in order to guarantee their young children have what they need to succeed at school.
It’s this group in particular Denver7 will follow for the rest of year as embark on the already strange journey through the last year of high school – with an added challenge: Overcoming life as a teen during a global pandemic.
This Denver7 360 project will follow four seniors from across the Front Range and will document their hopes, dreams, fears, goals and challenges to give you, our readers, a different perspective on life during this peculiar time in our history.
Meet the Colorado teens who will share what it’s like being a senior during the pandemic.
Kenzi is a senior at Green Mountain High School. Her life has revolved around soccer and cheerleading, but outside of school and sports, she enjoys spending time taking photos, being outside, and hanging out with her friends.
Unsure of what university she’ll go after high school, she says she’s curious to see how the last year of high school will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, “considering the circumstances the world is currently facing.”
So, what’s like for Kenzi to be a senior in high school during the pandemic? She shares some thoughts below:
Jayla is a senior at Arvada High School. Her passion for sports knows no limits: She is part of the softball, soccer and basketball teams, but she is more than an athlete – outside of sports, she is striving to make a positive change at her high school in terms of community and culture with the help of her peers. Outside of school, Jayla loves spending time with family and friends, but due to the pandemic, she is now mostly spending her free time walking her family dogs or binge-watching her favorite TV show.
Despite the pandemic though, the pressures of the real world have started to weigh on teens like Jayla. Here’s what she asks parents to consider as teens deal with a hectic life:
Ethan is a senior at Legend High School. This year has been strange for him – to say the least – given the coronavirus pandemic. Even though he says remote learning is not really good for him, he is thankful for the way Douglas County has handled the crisis to keep people safe.
But, just like everyone else in the world, teens are also feeling overwhelmed and Ethan would like parents to see that everyone is trying to deal with this as best as they can. Watch what he has to say below:
Alexander is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School. He describes himself as a sociable guy and someone who likes to make people smile and have a good time. Outside of school, he likes to spend time with his friends and loves to get outside and play sports – and he says that, thanks to his positive, glass half full attitude, he has been able to overcome “a lot of the hardships that have occurred in the past eight months.”
Loneliness is also in the minds of teens right now given how sociable most of us are in high school, and Alex shared some of the smaller things teens are missing out on during the pandemic:
Seniors across the Front Range holding out hope before graduation
It’s not just Kenzi, Jayla, Ethan or Alex struggling with life as a teenager during the pandemic. For many kids in Jefferson County Schools, it’s not only the loss of social life that’s taken a toll on them, it’s also the loss of learning due to the constant shift between in-person, hybrid and remote learning models.
While JeffCo, Denver and Cherry Creek Schools have started to bring students back to salvage what reminds of the academic year, Douglas County is postponing the return to in-person learning until Feb. 8.
And students aren’t sure if life milestones such as prom and in-person graduation ceremonies will happen as planned.
RELATED HEADLINES --
Denver7 is tracking the state of education in Colorado to help find resources for parents and kids navigating this unprecedented year.
- When it comes to remote learning, can all types of classes be taught virtually?Certain schools, students face bigger challenges with remote learning
- Teachers and parents express ongoing concerns over back-to-school plans
- What one Colorado superintendent has learned after a semester of school during COVID-19
Go deeper: State of Education in Colorado during COVID-19
Editor's Note: Are you a high school senior trying to make it during the pandemic and would like to be a part of this project so your voice can also be heard? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat! Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at 360@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 360 stories here.