Junior Experience postponed

COVID-19 closures halt Junior Experience; organizers hope to host event at later date


Listening in: The Junior Experience is modeled after the Freshmen Challenge. Amid this year’s Freshmen Challenge, Carleigh Crowl (12) talks to a group of freshmen during a session in English teacher Kelsey Jackson’s room. Photo contributed by: Kelsey Jackson, Photo by: Ellerie Nye, Acorn Yearbook Staff

Shayla Frederick, Reporter

This year, juniors planned to participate in a day filled with a variety of activities called the Junior Experience. This is modeled after the Freshman Challenge, an event that has been running for ten years.

However, due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and Governor Mike Dewine’s order for Ohio schools to be cancelled through April 3, the event will be postponed from its original date of March 18. As of March 17, there has been no word of when the Junior Experience will take place.

It’s a little disappointing after all the work that has been put into the event, but it will happen at some point, so all that work is not lost,” Amy Martin, Alumni Association Director said. “I am all for whatever scientific evidence says we need to do to combat the virus and believe that good things will come out of it.”

The concept of the Junior Experience was created by the Oakwood Alumni Association, who is hosting the event. The idea was developed two years ago, in a conversation between Martin and Principal Dr. Paul Waller.

He talked about the success of the Freshman Challenge, and how it would be neat to do something similar for the Juniors,” Martin said. “The basic idea was shared with our Oakwood Student-Alumni Ambassador group, and they developed the individual sessions.”

Although the Junior Experience imitates the structure of the Freshman Challenge, there are some key differences that make each event unique. While the Freshman Challenge focuses primarily on students’ connections with one another, the Junior Experience prepares students for life after high school. This includes activities that vary from safety on college campuses to finances.

A lot of the topics being covered are things that a normal high school curriculum does not cover,” Grace Almoney (12), a leader in organizing the Junior Experience, said. “However, they are very helpful as you move forward into college and beyond.

Besides helping prepare juniors for life after graduation, the event would also give the class time to bond before senior year. 

“Some of my classmates I will never see again [after high school] and all of our school-related activities gave us a chance to bond even more before going off to college,” Almoney said. “I understand why these events have been delayed but it is still very sad how it all happened on such short notice.

On the other hand, some juniors are somewhat neutral about the postponing of the Junior Experience.

“I don’t mind that it [the Junior Experience] is being postponed,” Peyton Martindale (11) said. “I don’t think people were super excited about it, but I’m sure some people were.” 

Despite the abrupt postponing and cancelation of many events, such as the Junior Experience, people are understanding of the situation. In fact, people are taking the pandemic as an opportunity to unite with others and stay strong during this stressful time.

From my own personal experience, a lot of personal growth comes in times of challenge and uncertainty,” Martin said. “So you just have to keep going as best you can and try and help others in the process.”