As the stay-at-home orders continued to be pushed back and it became a real possibility that I wouldn’t get to go back to school to finish senior year in the traditional way, I started to ask myself why this is happening to the world. I was aware of how it was affecting other people and how it could be much worse for me and my family, but I allowed myself to feel angry and sad. I was frustrated that the rest of my high school experience would be spent in my home. I was upset that all the rites of passage weren’t going to happen or that they wouldn’t be the same. But with these emotions came the question of what is the reason behind this happening. I forced myself to really think this over, to open myself up to accepting what was happening.
Being home since March and doing online learning has caused a series of up and down emotions almost every day. Some days I’m in favor of not having to wake up at 6 AM every morning, doing things according to my own schedule, and logging into Zoom classes. Other days, however, I miss things like driving to school in the morning with my brother, walking through the halls, and chatting with my friends. More often than not, I miss all the traditions that I had been looking forward to since freshman year. Senior sunset, decision day, senior slideshow, writing the college we were going on the glass in front of the counselors’ office, and dance concert all became things that couldn’t and wouldn’t happen anymore – at least in the traditional sense.
I have always heard that by the end of senior year, everyone usually becomes friends with one another and that they become closer than they were before. When I found out that the seniors in my class would be ending the year at home, I thought about how we wouldn’t get the opportunity to end the year in this way, that we would have to end the year as individuals instead. However, I soon realized that we have all gotten closer in a different way because we are all going through this new unfamiliar situation together. I know that I will always remember my classmates because we are getting through this and will graduate despite all that has happened.
This truly is a surreal feeling for better or for worse. I agree with Ezra that this moment is likely going to create ripples in how the education system will be altered from this event. Though, I don’t think it will completely reform it forever since we’ve seen the logistical problems that a mass-shutting down of schools entails. I will admit, though, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to senior graduation as I thought it would be formulaic and dull. Your essay, Kaitlyn, highlights either new-found or reinforced appreciation for the classic senior graduation experience and the solidarity we can take with other 2020 classes.
I resonated with your post because as the stay at home orders were extended, I was also in utter disbelief. I thought that it would be the two weeks, and then everything would go back to normal. we would get our senior year back. I also agree with the ups and downs of being quarantines during this time. Part of me thinks that maybe it is a blessing, as we are getting more time with our families and loved ones before going to college. The other part is sick of spending time with my family, and wishes I had the routine of going to school and my senior year back. I know that ultimately this will be something that we looks back on, and maybe even are grateful for, even though now this seems incredibly hard to believe. But for now, we just have to make the best of it! Personally, a big upside of Covid-19 is that Judge has really been there for everyone, is ways that I know other schools haven’t. Ultimately, I think that this whole thing will make our class stronger and closer!!
Thank you for your post, it helped me realize that I was not alone in my thoughts!
As much as this sucks, it makes me wonder if this is going to be how education is going to be for everyone in the not so distant future. As human history continues, and as the population continues to rise, more and more powerful viruses are going to threaten humanity, natural selection ensures that. So it might just be the case that digital learning will become the standard, to ensure safety from diseases. Over time, technology is only going to get better, and so are deadly pathogens, so I wonder if our children or their children might deal with this every day. As much as this impacts OUR mental health, how much will it impact theirs? or will they be used to it and just accept it?
I really liked your post because I think this is how seniors all across the globe are feeling. I completely understand how you feel when you say sometimes you enjoy the relaxed schedule, but also that you miss routine and friends. Hopefully, this pandemic is solved soon. Since the media is filled with negative news surrounding the pandemic here is an article I think you will like: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-not-good-but-the-news-is-not-all-bad-2020031919247 . It is an article written by a Harvard Medical School professor that details the good new about coronavirus and how most people will recover, numbers are going down, etc.