By Samra Karamustafic
Kate Marijolovic takes a long look at the flowy, burgundy- colored dress splayed across her bed.
She runs her hand over the coarse and sparkly fabric, thinking of the possible hairstyles, makeup looks, and accessories she could have paired with this dress.
The high school’s prom was supposed to be just days away, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed until further notice. Now, Marijolovic is unsure if it will happen at all.
“High school is four years of looking forward to those big moments like prom,” said Marijolovic, a senior at Eastlake North High School. “It’s a bit disconcerting when you think the event you poured all this time and money into preparing for might not happen.”
Marijolovic is one of many high school seniors who have had an abrupt end to their senior year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Education Week, 29 state governors have called for schools to be closed through the end of the academic year, including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
And with Gov. DeWine banning all large mass gatherings until May 1, many may be left wondering if mass gatherings will even be allowed during the summer.
Principal Eric Frei of Eastlake North High School and his staff believe they will.
“Our prom committee is currently trying to reschedule prom for the last week in July,” said Frei in an email interview.
The unpredictability of the coronavirus is making it a challenge for everyone from school principles to governors to determine how long the stay-at-home orders and other restrictions will remain.
As reported by Reuters, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced recently that mass gatherings in the summer will be highly unlikely for the state. This leaves plenty of speculation for what other states, like Ohio, plan on doing next.
But Frei and the North High School staff aren’t letting those guidelines stop them.
“We will be following the [previously mentioned] plan regardless,” said Frei.
Sara Marijolovic is another North High School senior who knows that prom will be postponed until the end of July but doesn’t think it will be quite the same experience.
“[Prom] will happen but it’s not going to be the same,” said Marijolovic. “Everybody’s gearing up for college, so the question is – are we still going to feel like doing other high school stuff once the end of July rolls around or are we going to be in full college mode?”
Regardless of what will become of prom, North High School made sure to commemorate this year’s senior class, especially once it was announced that remote learning would continue through the end of the school year.
On Monday, April 20, Frei stood near the football field at North High School among social-distanced seniors and their parents. Then, once the clock struck 8:20 p.m., they all watched as the stadium lights lit up for 20 minutes and 20 seconds to honor the class of 2020.
Frei understands that this is a tough time for seniors. As the principal of North High School, he has had to oversee a lot of the senior event cancellations and postponements, but he wants the seniors to know that something will be done to make it up to them.
“My heart goes out to this year’s senior class – they have sacrificed so much during this pandemic,” said Frei. “But we will still be working with the senior class officers to continue to plan fun events that follow social distancing guidelines over the next couple of months.”