Graduating Seniors Honored Through Social media

The senior class of 2020 won’t leave without making a mark, even a digital one.

The account’s posts announce what students are doing after high school, along with using story highlights to organize by school.

The Instagram account @masonclassof2020 has posted over 300 collages of different Mason High School seniors and their plans for when they leave high school. Three seniors run the account: Riley Brannock, Cate Millard, and Mallory Hill. Since its first post on April 5, the account has amassed hundreds of followers. Some of the exposure it has received can be contributed to those who share their posts on their personal Instagram “stories” to celebrate one another.

COVID-19 quarantine protocol has canceled the traditional graduation and prom that the class of 2020 had been looking forward to. Brannock said the account was inspired by another school, with the hope of giving a sense of familiarity to the senior class.

“We decided to start this account when we were all sitting in my car,” Brannock said. “I was scrolling through Instagram and happened to see that Mount Notre Dame High School was doing it for their seniors, and I was really amazed by the idea. Seniors always look forward to seeing where their fellow classmates and friends are going for the next level. With everything going on in the world, we may not be able to see that. We [wanted to] step up and make that a reality for our seniors.”

As the profile quickly gained popularity, so did the requests. Brannock said it was a struggle to keep up with at the beginning.

Riley Brannock, a graduating senior, used the account to announce her plan to attend the University of Kentucky.

“At the beginning, when a lot of people started noticing the account, it was super chaotic,” Brannock said. “In one night, we did 178 collages, and it was non-stop work for about four hours. For the first few days, it was crazy, but after the first week, it started to slow down. Now we only get a couple of direct messages a day. It was just crazy in the beginning with everyone trying to get it, but it wasn’t horrible. We couldn’t imagine what it would be like if every senior sent their information in.”

Along with many serious entries, the account has also received numerous messages listing a fake school or major. Brannock said this happens relatively often, and they are able to handle it.

“I would say we’ve probably gotten about 50 [gag entries] total,” Brannock said. “We’ve handled different jokes differently. If we know who it is, we tell them that we know who they are and they’re not a senior. If it is someone from a different school, we ignore it. There have been a lot of jokes about their majors or where they’re going to school, which in that case we ask for their real major and school. It’s difficult with some people that we don’t know because we aren’t aware if they go to Mason.”

Photos contributed by Riley Brannock and @Masonclassof2020 on instagram.