With the days until graduation dwindling down to single digits, the Crown Point High School (CPHS) senior class has enjoyed several celebrations that brought back a sense of normalcy amidst the uncertainty the pandemic brought. This included the school-sanctioned Friday Night Lights (FNL) event and a parent-hosted prom.
FNL was put together by CPHS administrators. It included a live band, bags, spikeball, and food trucks. The event was held on the high school’s football field, which gave the seniors a large space to enjoy the festivities.
Crown Point senior class vice president, Emily Helmuth, shared her and her friends' experiences at these celebrations.
“The Friday Night Lights event was a lot better than I expected. I was expecting to only spend an hour there. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun the event ended up being and ended up staying almost the entire time,” said Helmuth.
Many students have shared that they enjoyed the event and appreciated that there was no pressure to attend with a date or large group, as is often felt with a school dance. The event was for seniors only.
“I am really glad the administration team did this for the senior class. School dances are not for everyone since they can be very stressful and exclusive, however; this event was more inclusive and personal in my opinion,” said Helmuth.
FNL helped to make up for the canceled annual events like homecoming and turnabout, and Helmuth said she feels like it could be implemented as a new tradition for seniors each year.
“As someone who has not enjoyed school dances in the past, this event was way more fun than the dances I have been to. I think FNL should be kept as an annual tradition. Unlike dances and such, this event has the unique quality of being for seniors only. I believe it is important for seniors to have their time to shine, and this was a perfect way to do that before graduation,” said Helmuth.
When the high school announced it was not hosting a prom, many seniors were upset they did not get a final dance. However, parents of seniors, led by Tammy Watson, made sure that their kids would not miss out on another thing.
“I am extremely grateful to those who organized this, especially Tammy Watson and the other parents involved. Not only did they organize this fantastic event but they went above and beyond. The decorations looked amazing and it seemed like everyone had a great time,” said Helmuth.
After a Friday night full of fun and reminiscing, Bulldogs throughout all of Crown Point pulled out the makeup and fancy clothes for their senior prom. For many, this was the first time they would be seeing all their classmates in a single space in over a year and a half.
“My favorite part of this event was hanging out with my friends and seeing the majority of my class together again. A lot of people have opted to learn virtually this year, so it was nice to see them in person again,” said Helmuth.
The hope of holding the prom was for the seniors to enjoy one last hurrah together before graduation. It seems to have filled the void of a normal prom.
“The prom lived up to the expectations that were left from a school-sanctioned prom. The only major difference besides the location change was dinner not being served, but I personally like the snack table better, as it allowed a variety of options for us to choose from,” said Helmuth.
Not eating dinner at the dance allowed attendees the freedom to choose where they wanted to eat afterward, and also kept the price of admission lower.
Due to the new Center for Disease Control guidelines and relaxed restrictions in Lake County, masks were optional for attendees for both events. This allowed for a feeling of normality to come back after a tough year and a half for everyone.
“These events were a great way for everyone to bask in their last few moments of high school. I know I made memories I will never forget,” said Helmuth.
These celebrations were a great way for these seniors to close out the chapter of high school in their lives.