COVID-19: Stripped of a senior year

I, alongside 3.3 million highschool seniors, are being robbed of my senior year. The last day that Arkansas schools were in session was March 13th, 30 days before the seniors last day of school. Sure we had a countdown started. Saying things like “only 30 days left to go” and “30 days until we’re outta here”, but we never expected things to end like this. The final season of our lives has been entirely ripped away from us. I understand that it is a necessity. That no one intended for this to happen. That it is necessary to protect both those older than us, and with weaker immune systems. It is for that very reason that I, like so many others, am practicing social distancing, for the good of our people. 

While this makes it impossible for us to be angry about such events it adds to sadness. The realization that I’ve most likely had my final day of high school, and did even realize it. The fact that all of our competitions and school trips have been canceled or placed on hold. All activities have been halted. Track, soccer, softball, baseball, and every other spring sport has been suspended indefinitely. There has been no news on graduation or senior prom. These memories that we are meant to cherish and hold on to for the rest of our lives, we may now never be given the opportunity to make.

I have my own depressing story just like millions of others. The things that have been taken away from me that make it seem so personal and unfair. My senior year entirely up in smoke, and the most anticlimactic end to 13 years of education that anyone could hope for.

For me personally, there are things that I will never be able to properly say goodbye to. I’ll never get to publish my final paper for journalism, or attend my last state convention. I won’t get to have the ending ceremony in which we receive our chords for French Honor Society. I won’t get to take the school trips to Nashville, and New York City that were planned. 

While these are the things I mourn privately there are so many others that all of us are mourning. The loss of the classic graduation at Bud Walton Arena, the last week of senior year where you get to say your last goodbyes to underclassmen you may never see again, the senior celebration where you get to honor and congratulate your peers as scholarships are announced. 

It is in this that we find our true connection and unity. It is these circumstances that will truly hold us together as the class of 2020.