Venice Seniors Reflect On Aspirations in A Post-COVID-19 World

Hector Aguilera, Reporter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we approach one year of being in quarantine, many seniors are at the eve of adulthood. Prom, college acceptances, and graduation were some things many seniors had anticipated throughout their high school experience — with the pandemic, they’re missing out on all the hallmarks of the traditional senior experience. 

Many seniors have been left to think about their goals—either new ones or ones they’ve longed to accomplish before quarantine—and how they will accomplish them in a post-COVID world. 

For instance, senior Frida Cruz is an aspiring photographer and filmmaker whose passion and craft have been halted by quarantine, leaving her to question this path. 

¨I’ve been stuck here at home for like a really long time and it’s really affecting me,” she said. “I’m losing motivation for what I’m passionate about. And if  COVID didn’t happen, I would have had more opportunities, [like] to get my friends to do shoots for me more or discover more things and develop as a photographer. ¨ 

Cruz said that her junior year experience in photography and film sharply contrasted this year’s experience.

¨Junior year was when I bloomed out and stepped up to my confidence,” she said. “I was looking forward to [the] next year—meeting new people and meeting new people through photography as well.

 ¨I was making a film for my Venice Arts class and I chose to make it on Latino culture. I interviewed a bunch of people at restaurants and street vendors near Venice Beach, and it was really fun. It was something new for me too, and definitely stepped up my confidence and broadened my horizons. 

“We had all the footage and we were just in the progress of editing it, but COVID put a halt on that and I never got to complete it.¨

Cruz hopes to expand on her craft and regain her passion for photography and film. 

¨I think in college I’ll start doing more things for myself, because I don’t want to stay in this mentality right now,” she said. “I would like to make new films and start to get inspiration from other people, and I would like to get to know people and learn from different experiences.¨

Although COVID has become a hindrance to pre-existing aspirations, new aspirations have blossomed from this experience, too. 

Senior Fernando Martinez said that he has been inspired to help out more in his community because of recent political events. 

¨COVID has shed light on how fragile the country is, and one thing I want to try first is at least getting invested into my community,” he said.  “I’m hoping that if COVID starts to go away, [I’ll]  go for an internship or [do] volunteer work for a nonprofit organization. 

“I want to see how helping the community makes me feel and if I can pursue it further into a career. I’ve been super disappointed with my own government that it makes me want to try to help out my community.”

Martinez said that he realizes that the impact of COVID-19 has fueled his desire to help people. 

“We’ve gone through such pain and a year later we’re still in this,” he said. “It blows my mind.”