We want an unforgettable senior graduation trip

A way to memorialize our impending last days in high school

The Editorial Board, Oak Park Talon

Senior year should offer students a time of reflection. As the final year of high school bears down upon them, and the life they have known since draws to a close, a life beyond Oak Park High School may start to feel real for the first time to 12th graders. 

The last year of high school, a culmination of 12 years of relentless education, should be full of celebration. However, bearing the burden of college applications and the finalization of the future along with a tremendously trying academic year and the impacts from COVID-19, seniors can often feel overwhelmed with the weight of their final year. 

Senior trips should be sporadically placed during the school year to alleviate some of the stress. If Oaks Christian can do a ski week, why can’t we do something similar? At the very least, a post-graduation trip will suffice. 

We acknowledge the fact that we have a senior week that is full of fun activities, like how last year’s class went to Six Flags and Universal Studios for graduation night. But we’ve been longing for a post-graduation trip – somewhere that isn’t in the local area.

As the senior class has heard multiple times, the school-officiated Europe trip has been canceled for years. The reasons for the trip’s cancellation don’t matter to many seniors. They just want an end-of-the-year trip. 

The unpleasant truth is that students cannot possibly retain every valued connection of their K-12 experiences. Senior trips would offer a valuable opportunity to connect with friends one final time. We must enjoy every moment of high school while we still can, and our school’s gross lack of senior trips is a clear obstacle in the way of that.

One option that many Oak Park seniors turn toward is Buzz’s Adventure Tours. This trip has three tours throughout the three months of summer, each going through several different cities in Europe. The main form of travel is by train throughout each city, each tour ranging about 24 days. 

Although this trip is not just for a certain school, it’s offered to many surrounding schools. Some schools around Oak Park even offer Buzz Tours as their main Senior trip. With the popularity of Buzz Tours, the evident outcome is that space is limited. For Oak Park students, that leaves us at a disadvantage, since many of us have never heard of Buzz Tours. Since schools already offer this as their trip, it takes longer for students to get a spot on the waitlist.