SCHOOLS

SRHS senior shares outlook

Alyssa Winkelman

SRHS senior shares outlook

Alyssa Winkelman is one of the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) seniors caught in the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. She has been robbed of many traditional senior year experiences but has an interesting perspective.

Winkelman has been involved in the school’s music program, including marching band for all her four years at SRHS.

“We’re missing out on our spring concert and our end of the year concert, which is usually a really huge deal. … It’s really unfortunate,” she said.

She listed other senior year events she will miss: prom, Grad Night, senior ditch day, senior pranks and an in-person graduation ceremony. While the school district is looking into alternative graduation plans – including a virtual graduation and possibly a celebration later in the summer – decisions had not been finalized as of press time.

Winkelman explained what it has been like to finish the year with distance learning.

“Going to school has always been somewhat of a challenge for everyone to wake up early – but seeing your friends seems to make it more bearable,” she said, adding that she misses those friends and some of her teachers. “This is the time when you make friendships and you learn how certain aspects are working out until you go into the real world, so it’s kind of upsetting that we don’t get to really embrace that.”

Winkelman is set to attend the University of Oregon this fall, majoring in business, and earned a $5,000 per year academic scholarship. She said she was informed the university plans to hold in-person campus classes.

She explained that online classes this year did not take much of an adjustment, since the process is similar to how some of her classes were already being conducted.

“It’s all kind of interesting how technology has played a factor. But I feel we’re all very fortunate to have these resources,” she said. “If this had happened a few decades ago, I don’t know how they would have handled it.”

As a senior, Winkelman was a section leader for the school marching band, which was a good learning experience, she said.

“At times it was frustrating, but I had to kind of take myself back to when I was a freshman. I didn’t know anything when I was a freshman and my section leader really helped me out,” Winkelman said. “So, I feel like getting to teach younger students the passion of music and marching band, and showing them the ways of how we do things in the program, it honestly is a special experience. … It just felt good knowing I’m passing on my skills.”

Meanwhile, Winkelman and her classmates are feeling the let-down of losing out on events they were anticipating. She said she will miss a senior family vacation this summer and was planning a trip to Disneyland with friends – and her summer plans are uncertain.

“Senior summer is supposed to be the time when we’re all having fun and saying our goodbyes, and it feels like we’re not going to get that opportunity – which is really unfortunate,” she said.

Still, Winkelman does her best to view the situation with a big picture perspective.

“Sure, in the long run it’s not going to be the end of the world, but it’s a big part of what we were looking forward to,” she said. “The universe is going to give us something good in return. I’m not sure what that is or when, but we’re going to come through this and we’ll have awesome stories to tell our kids. … That’s for sure.”

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