Seniors Reflect on Their Last Day of High School
Sriram Zassenhous was certain he would return to MHS. Thursday, March 12, was only different because it marked the beginning of Spring Break.
He went about his regular schedule, talked to his soccer coach and spent time with his friends during Flex Time.
“I treated it like a normal day,” Zassenhous said. “But then after school kept getting pushed back, I started to think more about what my last day was.”
In the weeks that followed, the COVID-19 pandemic spread across America and Zassenhous began to reflect more on what would become his last moments at MHS. Almost a month later, Governor Mike Parson would order the closure of public and charter schools for the remainder of the semester.
The Class of 2020 will never return to MHS as high schoolers.
Many seniors, including Zassenhous, have thanked MHS in social media posts along with photos of memorable moments from their high school careers.
“I think most of us, when we’re at Marquette, have a lot of negative things to say about it because we’re there every day,” Zassenhous said. “But when we’re deprived of it and look back, we actually had a really good time when we were in the building. Marquette’s a great school and the teachers are awesome, so we all really like our time there. We just don’t say it all that often and when it gets taken away from us, we start to think back about how good we had it.”
Zassenhous is the Senior Class President and a captain of varsity soccer this season. He is concerned about the possible cancelation of events like Prom and Graduation, but he is thankful he played his final season of soccer at MHS and he continues to work with administrators in his role as Class President.
“I am so glad that boys soccer is in the fall not the spring,” Zassenhous said. “Each year since my freshman year, the most enjoyable part of high school has been playing soccer. In the off season, I always want to play high school soccer. I think almost all high school athletes feel the same way.”
Matthew Arnold is an athlete who lost his senior season. He doesn’t remember his last day in MHS, but he does remember his last varsity baseball practice as a catcher for the Mustangs. During Spring Break, alumni returned to watch the team practice for their upcoming season.
“I think everyone is just pretty down,” Arnold said. “For some of the seniors, this was their last time to play baseball because a lot of them aren’t going to play college baseball.”
Arnold is going to continue his baseball career at St. Charles Community College. He said for Mustang baseball players like him who are going to continue in college it was disappointing to miss their senior season that could define them as players, especially after the team was second in State last season.
While many students have been unable to leave their homes since school let out in March, Kristin Rapach was in a group of about 30 students and their parents who went to Cancun, Mexico, over Spring Break. Rapach said she is aware of the global need for social distancing and understands why some disagreed with their decision to go.
“I could definitely sense it was going to be an urgent situation that was going to alter our lifestyle,” Rapach said. “But it didn’t seem like it was going to be this impactful at the time. Now it does.”
Rapach said none of the members of the group have become ill since the trip. She is happy she had a memorable experience with her friends to end high school.
“I am so incredibly thankful that I had that experience and I was able to keep that memory with my best friends as my last memory of high school,” Rapach said. “It was the best time ever, and I don’t mean to be insensitive when I say that because I know that there are people staying home. I am nothing but thankful.”
Rapach looks forward to being able to attend Prom, Graduation and the Senior Lock-In but she also thinks they will not occur on their rescheduled dates in May. Despite that belief, she is trying to be optimistic about the future.
“Of course I’m going to look back and wish that I had those things, but it’s good that we’re staying safe,” Rapach said.
Jackson Estwanick, senior, has been the Executive Producer of MHSNews and the Messenger since 2018. This school year, he is also the cadet teacher of Intro...