By Lucy Tubbs and Emma Kafka
Senior year of high school is something that a lot of students look forward to the moment they enter school. From memories such as Last Walk, Senior Prom, Senior Camp Out, and Graduation, there are a lot of memories to be made that will last one a lifetime.
Recently, though, the worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus has put a pause on the school year, and almost everybody has had to miss out on something that they were looking forward to. With the recent update of Indiana schools being suspended until May 1st, some fear that the pandemic has even threatened to take away the remainder of the Class of 2020’s senior year.
We reached out to several seniors that make up the Class of 2020 to get their unfiltered words about how they feel about this widespread issue, and what their high school experience has meant to them thus far.
“I feel like it [the coronavirus] is taking something from us that most seniors want. Despite most of us being ready for high school to end, we want it to end when it is supposed to, not three months early. It is just as not fun as not having school should be. Hopefully, it ends soon and our senior year is back,” Cole Asbury said.
“To think that we probably will not get our last prom, last walk, senior campout, senior spring break or even our graduation ceremony breaks my heart. My fellow classmates and I have worked so hard for the last 12 years to get where we are today and in just a blink of an eye, it is all being taken away from us. I know others might think we are selfish considering what’s going on in the world, but this is a huge deal to us and we can not seem to wrap our heads around what is happening. At this point, I am just hoping for a graduation ceremony,” Marisa Howe said.
“I am disappointed that we are missing out on all of these events like prom, but I hope that we will get back in time for graduation. I am trying to stay positive that we will get back to school and have one month of fun with our classmates before we graduate,” Jill Merritt said.
“I am pretty upset that we are missing out on so many meaningful senior experiences, but I understand the decisions made by our superintendent and our governor,” Jeffrey Hart said.
“The students of our high school and other schools across the nation have trudged through the earliest stages of their lives and on this path they have developed into capable people who will go into this world and cause great change for the better. Unfortunately, the efforts we have put in will not be commemorated as is tradition. For the Class of 2020, the students will simply pass through what should be a monumental occasion without celebration,” Taylor Smith said.
“I am honestly still in shock from the whole situation. Obviously, it is a very unfortunate situation that is occurring in the United States, and I understand that completely, but it is very heartbreaking for me and my fellow senior class. Our future for the rest of the school year is unknown. Most of us spent 13 years in school dreaming about our senior year, but now we have to face the reality that we may not have any of those ‘once in a lifetime’ moments. I know that Class of 2020 is strong and I know that we will get through this, no matter what happens,” Haley Culley said.
“I feel as if I am grieving a loss to some extent. It is frustrating waiting a long time for an event; just for it to be ripped away from you. I am remaining optimistic, and I hope events can be rescheduled, but I am also grieving the events I have already lost due to this pressing situation. Above all I hope that everyone remains safe, smart, and positive. We are all in this together, so the burden is not on any one person’s shoulders. I shall remain hopeful during what seems to be a hopeless time,” Audrey Loney said.
“I am feeling relaxed but also overwhelmed. I hate how our senior year has been ruined by a virus and that it got as far as it did. I would definitely say if we were not on lockdown I would not be complaining about the time out of school, but I have been feeling locked up and bored out of my mind. The school work has been easier in my opinion, so that is a positive, but it is just so sad that the year we have been looking forward to the most had to take an unexpected turn. It also sucks that we do not know how the rest of it is going to play out,” Jasmine Murphy said.
“I am feeling sad that I will not be able to experience everything at the end of my senior year. I will never be able to experience my last senior spring break, my last water wars, possibly my last prom, senior skip day, and senior camp. It does not seem real to me at this time. I can not imagine what everyone else is feeling as well,” said Grace Elsbury.
“I am really sad and heartbroken about senior year being cut short. I have never been to a prom so thinking about not getting to go this year makes me want to cry. I cannot imagine not having a graduation or a last walk alongside my best friends,” said Molly Garner.
“Having my senior year cut short has not been something I have enjoyed. Along with not knowing if I will have a graduation ceremony or prom, I have also missed out on a majority of my softball season, for me, this has been the hardest part because I have been looking forward to getting back onto the field and playing for our new coaching staff. I have been very excited for this spring of my senior year and it is frustrating to have a lot of it taken away so quickly,” said Abigail McPherson.
“Senior year is what we have all been looking forward to all of our lives and most fun parts like prom and spring break and graduation even are probably cancelled so it sucks and it hurts to think that we might have to tell our kids we could not even walk across the stage to get our diplomas but we have to think how fortunate we are that we even got the opportunity there are people around the world that have none of these opportunities so we need to put it in perspective,” Luke Ferrell said.
On her Twitter page, senior Grace Duerksen was assigned to talk about her feelings regarding the pandemic and her senior year. As a result, she composed “A Letter to the Class of 2020”, which got a lot of attention from those who care about the senior class.
“I wrote my letter after doing an e-learning assignment where Mrs. Coddington asked us to reflect on the week with all of the changes. I realized that I had so much to say, so writing that was a therapeutic way of letting my emotions run their course. It was originally just for myself, kind of like a journal entry. I sent it to Mrs. Coddington and she really liked it, so I then decided to share it with others. I think it brought some closure to myself, and I hope it brought the same to those who read it,” said Duerksen.
There are many lessons that can be taken from this pandemic, and one of them is to enjoy the moment you are in as much as possible, because you never know how fast it can go away. As of now, the Class of 2020 remains hopeful that they can return to school and finish out their senior year after May 1st, and make the best of things given their opportunities.