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Roosevelt High Senior Carlee Hetland Shares How COVID-19 Impacted Her Senior year

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As South Dakota seniors eagerly anticipate graduation 2021, some took time to reflect and share with South Dakota Public Broadcasting how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their last year of high school. Today we hear from a Sioux Falls, Roosevelt High School Senior.

"I’m Carlee Hetland and I’m a senior at Roosevelt High School.

COVID put a lot of differences into my senior year. A lot of things were taken away and if they weren’t taken away, then they were adjusted and different than how they would usually be.

It just made you realize that you need to treat every day like we’re going to get school called off again. And now this year, I realize I need to enjoy this last basketball game I am cheering at just in case we don’t get one again. Just makes you think to be grateful for what we have in the moment.

I’m in show choir, I’m in sideline cheer. I cheered for varsity basketball my junior and senior year. I was part of student council. I’m president of our Cancer Awareness Club.

You know in middle school they tell you to get involved, get involved, get involved. Seriously, I am glad I did because I created so many friendships

This year,I feel like we connected even more because we were all struggling through the same thing and all of our feelings were valid so I definitely helps because you know that you were not alone and we had each other.

OK, we got to have one in-person competition and it was different because we had to wear masks obviously and singing with a masks on can be very difficult. We usually we would travel all over the Midwest for competitions. …Instead we just recorded a video.

It’s just different because you only get your senior year once. And you only get your high school experience once, so when things are taken away or even different or you get half of what you’re used to it just isn’t the best feeling.

No one understands or gets me or my friends like we do for each other. So we all are going through the same thing. So, it’s easy to be there for one another and lift each other up when we can."