Because of COVID-19, it has become more difficult for students to stay connected to each other. This means there are less chances for seniors to discuss their futures. In response to this, many seniors now have the chance to share their college plans with their peers through an account on Instagram.
This account was originally made by BHS senior Natalie Schuh as she wanted to give greater recognition to what seniors have been planning for the future.
“We are missing out on so many milestones,” Schuh said. “This is usually the time of year where people know their plans and are chatting about them at school.”
She started the account on Instagram as many of both BHS students and clubs have been active on the app in the past. Furthermore, through the majority of this process, she has kept herself anonymous so seniors would not feel any bias towards the account.
“If people knew who I was right away, they would possibly be scared of the judgement and wouldn’t want to be recognized,” Schuh said.
The account first posted on May 1 with seven seniors initially featured. Among these seven was BHS senior Cadee Ryckman, who first heard about the project from Schuh.
“I thought it was a cool opportunity for us seniors to get some recognition we missed out on,” Ryckman said.
Currently, there are over 50 seniors who have been recognized through the account, with more posts being made as it gains more attention.
“I wanted to add to it because I was proud of where I will be attending,” BHS senior Mia Steffes said.
A senior can be featured on the site after directly messaging certain information to the account on Instagram. This includes the school the student will be attending along with the academic major and activities he or she will partake in. A photo of the senior is also needed for Schuh to make each post.
“I have to make a collage and find a sticker [representing the school of choice] to put on it as well as making sure it fits and looks nice,” Schuh said.
Often, seniors will use one of their professionally-taken senior pictures in the hopes of looking nice in front of their peers.
“I chose the picture I did because it felt business-like.” Ryckman said.
As Schuh creates each post, she has found satisfaction in sharing her fellow classmates’ future plans with the Instagram community.
“I have enjoyed seeing what people’s futures hold and making sure people still feel important,” Schuh said.
Other seniors have enjoyed seeing themselves on the account as a reminder of the importance of their senior year.
“I think we needed the recognition because we missed a lot of important moments and everything was cut short,” Steffes said.
Regardless, Ryckman is glad that people can look at this account and see what will become of the class of 2020.
“I think it’s cool that we can have something like this so everyone knows what the seniors are going to do after high school,” Ryckman said.
Schuh will continue to keep posting as long as seniors keep sending their information to the account. Although this page may not include every BHS senior as of now, for the seniors who are showcased, the page itself could represent the importance of the steps they are about to take into the world.
“I hope that the BHS class of 2020 still feels special and people still feel recognized,” Schuh said.
As graduation looms ever closer, Schuh hopes that because of the page, seniors can feel more connected to each other and have greater optimism for the future in spite of the current situation.
“I hope we make the best of this situation and don’t let the way this year is going stop us from succeeding in the future,” Schuh said. “I don’t think people should give up because of [COVID-19].”