Interview with Andrea Castaneda

Heritage alumni Andrea Castaneda talks about her experiences with COVID and senior year.

On March 13, 2020, schools across America were shut down, and what seemed to be a two-week vacation turned into a 7-month lockdown. Former ASB Vice President Andrea Castaneda shares her first-hand experience of her senior year being taken away because of coronavirus.

Q: What was the hardest/most disappointing thing from your senior year being cut short? 

A: The most annoying thing was that senior year is the best part of highschool and I couldn’t experience any of those moments with my friends.

Q: If you could experience one thing that was cancelled what would it be and why?

A: Probably Grad Night because it was the one thing specifically for seniors. It is an irreplaceable event and it’s Disneyland so it was really disappointing.

Q: Do you feel like you’re having the college experience?

A: No, but it’s okay. I am happy to finally have a routine again.

Q: What is something Heritage taught you that has helped your college experience?

A: This is oddly specific, but Mrs. Choi always taught us to provide the context in your introductory paragraph in an essay and it has always stuck with me and has helped me a lot.

Q: What is the biggest difference between highschool and college?

A: Everything is in your control in college. You can choose your own schedule and classes. I have a lot more freedom and independence regarding that.

Q: How are you staying connected?

A: One good thing that came from COVID is that everybody from my senior class is home, so I can stay connected with them. I have some acquaintances in college, but obviously, it’s difficult because Zoom is so impersonal.

Q: Any advice to give to the current seniors?

A: Make sure to stay connected with your close circle because friendships fade, but when you and your friends put in effort to maintain your relationships, you will stay close. Also, don’t be afraid to email teachers and talk to them because they’re very understanding and want to be there for you.

Q: How has this experience made you feel in general?

A: 2020 has been the biggest personal development in my life. I’ve learned that it is easy to put in the effort when you see your friends every day at school, but because of quarantine, my friends and I have had to put in more effort and some friendships will be lost but you end up knowing your long-lasting friendships.

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