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COVID to College: An Inside Look at Marist Seniors

This is the last day of classes for seniors after quite a ride the last four years.
RedHawk Mascot high-fives masked student. (Credit: Marist Website)
RedHawk Mascot high-fives masked student. (Credit: Marist Website)

The Class of 2024 started their Marist journey in August, 2021 during one of the weirdest years of their lives. Not only were they taking on a whole new world, but a global pandemic was sweeping across the world. Their experiences were clearly different from everyone else, but did their unusual circumstances change the way they view their future, or impact how they spent their time at Marist? 

The class of ’24 spent their freshman year mostly out of school and learning from home, rarely actually learning in the building. This made it difficult for them to get to know each other and communicate. Masks, distancing, and other COVID protocols made socializing and learning together extremely challenging, not to mention COVID schedules only allowing half the class to be in the building during specific days and times. 

Marist athletics was no exception, as league games were postponed, and teams could not compete in state. For most programs, practice was limited to only a few times a week and sometimes canceled all together. This was a struggle for some teams making it hard for them to rebound after the pandemic.

“We tried as hard as we could to get kids in [practice] because we knew that being here was something important for your mindset and your whole mental health,” says Principal Meg Dunneback. 

Even after the class of ’24 was in school for their first time as sophomores, COVID protocols were still in place. One memorable rule was a strict week-long self quarantine in effect for those who tested positive for COVID. 

“There were still outbreaks happening. That first winter a lot more people were getting COVID,” says Dunneback. 

While the students may have physically been in the building, quarantine and other protocols made their sophomore year just as challenging and unique. 

Junior year was their first year of high school that could be described as back to normal.

The seniors will graduate and begin a brand new journey on May 16. Over the years, Marist graduates have taken a variety of different paths after high school. Most students attend college or community college, but some go into local trades or emergency services.

According to an MHS Media survey, four out of five seniors plan on pursuing further education in the fall. 

Going to school during the pandemic was a different experience and required a lot of adjusting. The extended periods of isolation were lonely, but for some students it helped them discover what they wanted to pursue after Marist.

Marist senior Max Sombong says, “I plan on being an economist in the government that creates sustainable energy policy. I have always wanted to help others but COVID made me want to help people on a larger scale through the government.”

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Mike Philip
Mike Philip, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
My name is Mike Philip, and I am a Junior here at Marist. This is my first year involved with MHS Media, and I’m excited to learn and write more. I play Hockey, Lacrosse, and Golf here as a Redhawk. I’m also a Student Ambassador. I hope to pursue Journalism of some form in College.
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