Senior Reflections on the Year

Nayan Kondapalli, Staff Writer

The LASA Class of 2022 seniors had a different four years in high school than they expected. Their sophomore and junior year were both affected by COVID-19, which meant many juniors missed many academic and social experiences in high school. On top of that, seniors had to adjust to a brand new building for their last year in high school. With those changes, many seniors find themselves in an unique situation as they reflect on their high school years. 

Senior William Ward reflected that he was surprised by his loose schedule and more free time during his junior year. Ward said he expected his junior year to be the hardest year at LASA because that is when most students take two physics classes, multiple AP classes, and the SAT or ACT. However, COVID-19 altered these quintessential experiences for Ward, and he was able to relax more compared to his busy, homework-filled schedule before the pandemic.

“I always kept a tight schedule to make sure I stayed on top of my classes,” Ward said. “[I was] not sleeping relatively late, waking up generally early, but during online classes that pretty much flipped. [I was] sleeping really late and waking up 2 minutes before class.”

Ward said this change in schedule combined with the less strict environment of online school led him to put less effort into his classes. As he reflected on his time at LASA, Ward questioned the amount of time he used to put into his school work freshman year.

“It wasn’t like I didn’t care about school or was doing worse,” Ward said. “My grades were actually better, but with how much easier a lot of classes got with Zoom, even the infamously harder ones, there was no need to put in as much work when I was getting better results.”

Senior Abdullah Sharif has also shared Ward’s experiences of lower academic challenges during his junior year than he expected. He said he particularly noticed a change once he returned to in-person school for senior year.


“A lot of the teachers last year didn’t really require students to attend all the classes or attend for only a portion of the class and then made most assignments asynchronous,” Sharif said. “Because of that, I didn’t really find myself forcing to maintain a tight schedule so that I don’t fall behind, and it made it such that I didn’t have anything most days, so I definitely got a lot lazier.”

In addition to having his expectations of senior year changed due to COVID-19, Sharif did not guess during his freshman year that his senior year would be at a new campus. Moving to a new school building was an initial struggle for Sharif.

“It was genuinely tough trying to adjust to normal school life again,” Sharif said. “Having a new school building made the first week that much harder with having to constantly thinking about where my classes are and trying to figure out a new morning routine so that I can arrive to school on time.”

Even though the experiences of Ward and Sharif can apply to a lot of the seniors at LASA, not everyone had the same experience. Senior Hamzah Rasool reflected that COVID-19 affected him less due to his teacher’s continued structure and assignments even during online school.

“I got teachers that maintained their classes pretty much the same way they would have in-person,” Rasool said. “I initially thought it sucked that online school wasn’t as easy as it was for some others, but I guess I was lucky that it ended up helping me with adjusting back to normal school even with the new campus.”

Once they were in their last semester though, Ward, Sharif, and Rasool all experienced less pressure to maintain their grades or do well on AP tests. Rasool said since he already received college decisions and only needs to pass his classes to graduate, he feels less motivated during the second semester of senior year.

“There was no doubt online school still made junior year so much more easier compared to in-person,” Rasool said. “There will now always be a part of me that will try to do less work if I can, and this last semester is the perfect opportunity.”

As the seniors look ahead to senior salute on May 31, and graduation on June 1, they are feeling relaxed about the end of the year. Ward said his expectations for senior year are different than he expected, but he is happy about how his senior year is ending.

“I am definitely much more relaxed than I thought I would be around the second semester,” Ward said. “I always assumed that I would have a decent amount of willpower to complete school work, but knowing how little work I have to do due to online school, I am definitely in the same position [as online school].”