COVID-19 turns student’s senior year upside down


"Last year prom was a lot of fun, but I didn't have a date last year," Middleton said. "This year I do, so I was excited to have that typical senior prom as a guy."

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The coronavirus is bringing a disappointing end to senior year for many high school students in Northwest Arkansas.

Courtesy of Max Middleton

It’s weird thinking that could be the last time I’ll see a lot of my friends, like I never really got that like goodbye feeling.


Max Middleton had high hopes for the last few months of his senior year at Bentonville High School.

“They postponed our graduation and I’m honestly not even sure if we will even have it,” he said. “The fact that I may never do that is a worrying factor.”

The 18-year-old was excited about all the things this year brings — like his senior prom.

“Last year prom was a lot of fun, but I didn’t have a date last year,” Middleton said. “This year I do, so I was excited to have that typical senior prom as a guy.”

But the coronavirus hit, canceling all in-person classes for the rest of the year, including all school events.

“Just being stuck here and all of that is kind of rough,” he said.

Aside from missing out on senior prom, he will also never get to dress out and play soccer on the Bentonville High School field again.

Middleton was the senior captain for the Bentonville High School soccer team, and not being able to show off all of his hard work was a tough pill to swallow.

“Personally I thought we were going to be really good this year, so that was hard to see kind of all of that wasted,” he said. “We already put in almost a full year of training and everything for it, that part really sucks.”

Eason Counseling & Associates Chief Clinical Officer Christine Rapa said she’s been seeing a lot of seniors, like Middleton, feeling the brunt of their senior years being turned upside down.

There is some depression, there is some anxiety.


Rapa said you can help your kids cope with this, by finding ways to be creative while they’re stuck at home.

“At least photograph these moments, ya know dressing up in their caps and gowns, having their parents there, ya know making a mock diploma,” she said. “Just hang in there, we are going to get through this.”

Middleton said he is trying to do just that — all while staying positive.

Yeah, it sucks that we are going to miss out on some things, but it’s a chance to start early on moving forward for the rest of your life.


For more information about Eason Counseling & Associates, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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