CO21 Decision Day. Deep Breath, Envision your future, Exhale…

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By ATHARVA INAMDAR ‘24

Decision day is normally a celebration of the current graduating class—in this case, the Class of 2021. The day is significant since May 1st is the deadline for students to commit to a college. “Commit” is the binding agreement to attend a specific college in the fall. The occasion is to commemorate the success of every student, and their futures, regardless of whether they plan to pursue work, college, a gap year, or the military. In the past, this day has been a photo op, a chance for seniors to meet up and share their plans. Even mascots from various schools have attended the event. 

However, things were run differently this year given the circumstances of the pandemic. Students did make their pennants and had a car parade, but for many students, it didn’t feel the same. Nevertheless, it was still a nice change of pace. “Even though turnout was much smaller than initially expected, the event turned out to be one of the most fun and best forms of socializing for seniors that were rotting in their rooms,” said Danial Arab ‘21, student council Vice President.

…the event turned out to be one of the most fun and best forms of socializing for seniors that were rotting in their rooms…

Danial Arab ’21

This image shows the comprehensive extent of our student’s travels.  

Keeping with tradition, students submitted their high school graduation accomplishments on the Instagram page “ehs21seniors.”

Still, many students perceived that this year was incomplete, as many graduation events required consideration of the pandemic. Additionally, students had trouble making their final decisions and consulting guidance counselors. Some students were unable to visit campuses and had to make an uninformed decision. Others found it difficult to talk to recruiters.

“It’s hard to decide when you don’t have your feet on the ground,” said Ms. Laurie Sieminski, a college counselor at Edison High School. Communicating with counselors, visiting colleges, and planning for the future was difficult and interrupted. Thus, Sieminski observed a trend emerging for the last two years: many students have opted to attend county college for a year to just “sort it out.” A year to get some credits fulfilled as they decided what they wanted to pursue and what college (or another opportunity) they wanted to pursue. 

“What is normally a celebratory time, just feels unsettled as normally everyone knows what they’re doing and where to go, but right now it’s just not sure,” said Sieminski. 

Because of the pandemic, students no longer have the same feeling of engagement as in previous years. With the lack of classroom involvement due to remote learning, students have found it increasingly difficult to achieve their desired grades and stay focused.

However, some traditions remained amidst the pandemic. The seniors got together and tie-dyed shirts in the colors of the colleges they were planning to attend—an activity they maintained since pre-COVID-19 circumstances. There are also some forthcoming opportunities, such as the Senior Sunset, in which seniors come together to appreciate their time in high school. The Edison community is very proud of our graduating seniors for overcoming the unique obstacles they have faced throughout this year!