The Class of 2021

Grade 12 was not what they imagined: no prom, no varsity teams, no senior trip. But these teens made their way through online school and survived the quadmester system. Here’s how they coped—the good and the bad—and what they’re doing next

The isolation, the crushing quadmester system, the pressures of university applications—it was not a great year for high school seniors. Many of them worked part time to help support their families. Others advocated passionately for causes they believe in. Still others volunteered to help seniors over Zoom or rounded up handmade holiday cards for long-term care residents. All of this while writing entrance essays, cramming for exams and trying to catch a few hours of sleep. These teens blew us away with their grit and determination, their hope and perseverance. Here, in their own words, how they spent their senior year.

The Class of 2021

Ayah Khan: “I had to work to support my family, but I was scared of getting Covid”


Toni Agbaje-Ojo: “At UCC, we weren’t allowed to leave campus due to Covid”

Alfina Shahu: “A few days into Ramadan, I got Covid”

Jasper Khan: “With the change to quadmesters, the amount of work was overwhelming”

Lauren Wasik: “As a singer, I couldn’t risk getting Covid”

Wisdom Egwom: “The quadmester went by so quickly. In physics, we only had four tests and most of us flunked the first two”

Aaliya Qassim: “I’m immunocompromised, so I’ve been at home since last March”

Celine Ho: “I applied to the top 10 schools in the States and wrote about 60 entrance essays”

Abu-ubaida Ali: “I miss my friends. I haven’t seen some of them in over a year”

Nicole Hotchkiss: “No soccer or hanging out with friends or prom!”

Yuvraj Aujla: “My whole family tested positive in December”

Rayne Daprato: “I’ve probably reorganized the furniture in my bedroom five times, if you want to know how bored I am”