Making the Most of Senior Year

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Maddie Gamburg. Photo by Prestige Portraits

By Maddie Gamburg

Senior year has been anything but ordinary. Until now, I dreamed of the day that I would pull into the senior lot at Germantown Academy, rush through the halls and do “Senior Step” at the pep rally, attend my last home GA/PC day and rush to the middle of the field at the end of the football game, go to my senior prom and play spoon assassin.

All of these, now, are only possibilities. They may forever remain in my dreams.


Until August, senior year was looking somewhat normal. We were returning full time to school, and the only difference would be safety precautions. I was so optimistic about the year and got my hopes up. There would be red day and blue day: upperclassmen on campus on red and underclassmen on blue. My sister and I would never be at school together again – then all of that optimism turned into uncertainty.

Instead, on my last first day of school, I woke up at 8 a.m. to move 2 inches to get to school. I opened my computer to join my advisory Zoom call. Disappointment filled the “room” as we all wished to be on campus together, crowded in the small, cozy room (my adviser’s office) eating Munchkins. While not ideal, as a class we’ve tried to create new memories and traditions.

However, virtual class will never compare to the in-person experience. Nothing can replace the interactive, engaging conversations that the Harkness tables provoke or the small talk before classes start that entertains all. No screen could ever engage a student like that of an in-person discussion.

I sit at my desk in the corner of my room. My foot taps the floor, my leg shakes, a rush of energy flows as I try to focus. To speak plainly, it’s hard — and it’s hard to imagine that experience every day. While hybrid allows the best of both worlds, we only get a glimpse of what our senior year could be.

Three months later, we are still hybrid, but there is hope, and it’s obvious that my school is doing everything in its power to make the year as normal as possible.

While traditions won’t be the same this year, instead of giving up, they’ve reinvented such traditions such as GA/PC Day — now GA/PC Week — spirit week and even celebrating seniors for submitting our applications with Senior Love Day, where we all sat outside around a fire pit and enjoyed various comfort foods.

COVID-19 presents many complications to the school year; however, it is up to each student to decide what to make of the situation. Either you cherish the opportunities that you do have or reminisce about the memories that could have been.

My senior year has been anything but ordinary, but as a class we strive to still have an extraordinary year.

Maddie Gamburg is a senior at Germantown Academy and was a summer 2020 Jewish Exponent intern.

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