To some, it may seem like an unexpected break, a corona-cation as some say.
To the class of 2020, it’s not how we expected our last semester to go. We all recognize the severity of the coronavirus pandemic at hand and realize that missing out on some senior year highs is so minute compared to the extremity of the virus danger that’s killing thousands worldwide. We fear the virus coming into our lives or those around us, we acknowledge the threat and grimness of the issue.
We also acknowledge the vanishing of our senior year. The ominous Friday the 13th could have easily been our last day of high school forever…and we didn’t even know it. In retrospect, the date itself seems to have been foreshadowing the doom to come.
Here’s how March-June of senior year is seemingly supposed to go:
In March we complain about the bad cases of senioritis we’ve all apparently caught…these grades don’t mean much anymore, do they? How much longer until I’m done here? We also hear back from the rest of our colleges, anxiously awaiting our fate. As we get decisions back from schools, we scurry to our counselors to update them and spread the news at our lunch tables. We console each other when the result is negative, and celebrate when the result is positive.
Then comes April. The symbolic “showers” are the tears we cry trying to decide which college to actually attend. For some people the decision is simple. For others, it takes ages to decide how to spend the next four years. We spend our last high school spring break either visiting our final colleges, going on one more family vacation, or by spending time with our friends.
Onto May “flowers.” First of all, it’s warm and everything feels better when the weather is nice. May 1st: college decision day. We all would know exactly where we’re going. Every brain cell used studying, ever application submitted, and the activities we’ve done, are all wrapped up into this accomplishment. Everyone is proud, everyone is happy, everyone is relieved. We have a senior celebration before lunch in the commons and take photos with our friends while wearing gear from our future school. These photos last a lifetime.
June. Ahh, June. Because we’re in New Jersey, we practically have the entire month of June to finish out our school year. No ending in May and no “seniors finish early.” But that’s bearable, that’s actually okay, because this last month doesn’t mean much academically, but everyone really appreciates the fact that it’s the last time we’ll be together. It’s the home stretch that we want to absorb every moment of. June is the month of the senior award ceremony. June also houses senior prom. The photos, the dance, the prom weekend down the shore, and senior ditch day(s) are once in a lifetime memories. One big “hurrah” with your best friends.
Graduation. 12 years of schooling. 2160 days of school. They’ve all led up to this moment. This is officially the last time you’re ever with all of your 730 classmates. Some of these people you’ve known your whole life and some, you never got the chance to meet. Nonetheless, this is the end of the story. There’s never any returning to the routine of Hunterdon Central nor the normalcy you’ve depended on the past 12 years. Everything changes from here. It’s sad, nostalgic, rewarding, overwhelming, exciting… it’s over.
With this unexpected break as a result of COVID-19, the home stretch of our senior year looks quite different. Here’s more our new reality:
March. We had some school, but we just went through it like normal, not really expecting a drastic change in our routine. Then, poof! Boom! Crash! Everything has changed. Suddenly we were at home 24/7, distanced from everyone and everything, doing school solely on our laptops, and tuning into some Zoom sessions. We still hear back from the rest of our colleges but it’s harder to keep friends updated.
April. The “Zoom”-ing and Google Classroom-ing continue. The FaceTiming of our friends continues. This is becoming the new norm. It’s still going to be weird but we’re getting used to it. Then rolls around spring break. Is it even a break anymore when the past month would’ve been a sort of “break”? Nonetheless, we’ll have even more time on our hands because of the absence of remote schoolwork. We’re not visiting colleges like we were supposed to and we aren’t vacationing anywhere.
May…It pains me to even imagine this going on until May, so I’ll leave it at that. Hopefully, our May can go on similarly to how we’d imagined. The same goes for June. Fingers crossed.
This entire school year, we lamented about how annoying it is that we graduate on June 23rd… that’s so late! But, it may be just enough time to actually occur like normal. Some schools that finish in May, have already canceled and postponed things.
We want this pandemic to end. We fear the loss of more lives, the disruption of the world, and the termination of our ideal senior year. This wasn’t how any of us would’ve imagined it ending.