Due to pandemic, seniors revise May Project plans


Berk Oto

May project, a quintessential U-High experience, has changed for nearly all seniors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Ngo, Reporter

Many seniors’ original plans for May Project involved traveling or getting together, but because of the statewide shelter-in-place order, seniors had to adjust or completely revamp their projects to ensure they could be completed from home. 

Though most seniors were disappointed by the circumstances, one surprised herself by finding a new project she prefers more.

“I’ve weirdly stumbled upon something that I actually think I like more than my original one,” Marisa McGehee said about her new May Project. 

Before the coronavirus pandemic affected Chicago, Marisa was planning on working closely with photojournalism teacher Jayna Rumble to learn how to take action shots. Marisa planned to take photos of the varsity girls soccer team, of which she is the manager. She wanted to commemorate her last year on the team with photos, but because their season was canceled, Marisa had to come up with a new plan.

During the stay-at-home order, Marisa has been cooking more than before and hopes to explore this new hobby while getting closer to her relatives. Marisa intends to compile the recipes in a cookbook she will illustrate herself.

“We’re gonna make their favorite dish over FaceTime, and I’m gonna ask them what’s the story behind it, why they love to make it and like bond with them over that,” Marisa said, “because I don’t actually spend a lot of time talking to my relatives who aren’t immediately close to me and I believe that could be really special.” 

Most seniors aren’t as fortunate as Marisa to have found a new May Project they preferred over their original ones. Lanh Matelski originally planned to do a writing mentorship with author Michelle Wildgen in Madison, Wisconsin, but because of the circumstances, the mentorship will have to take place over video calls.

“I mean, I am sad because I was really looking forward to meeting with her in person,” Lanh said. “I feel like the kind of teaching experience I would have gotten in person would have been a little bit more immersive.”

Despite the circumstances, Lanh is still excited to improve her writing during her May Project.

Lanh said, “I like to look for the best way where I can save the most amount of my energy and still put out the best kind of work, so it’s really nice because all I really have to do is what I really like.”