Senior point-of-view of altered prom and graduation

I walked in the doors of Har-Ber High ready for the best three years of my life. In order to soothe my nerves leading up to this day,  I had collected a list of rules in my mind from former alumnis. Steer clear of the rotunda stairs, they are not sophomore property. Create a good relationship with your teachers. Participate in as many clubs as you can. I envied the nonchalantness of the seniors. They didn’t seem nervous. They didn’t seem to be avoiding the rotunda stairs. I wanted to be like them. Sophomore year was slow, junior year, too fast, but still, I longed for my senior year. 

Three years later here I am piled in scholarship applications and college classes with no normal celebrations to look forward to.  Instead of a countdown to graduation, I have a countdown until graduation is over with. On graduation day, I would get ready with my friends and we would ride together to one of the greatest day of our lives. The stands would be packed with friends and family as the class of 2021 spirals to their seats as “Pomp and Circumstance” rings throughout Bud Walton. I would be on stage receiving my diploma seeing all my classmates throughout the years sitting there- knowing I had made it.  Instead, I am going to a separate graduation, apart from my best friend. Being able to graduate with any of my friends is relying on the luck of the alphabet. Suddenly I’m having to choose which set of grandparents I should invite to their very first granddaughters graduation. Instead of a row of my family, I’ll be looking to see my 6-ticket receivers in the middle of an empty audience. Similar to the audience, I’ll be sitting in a tiny clump of 200 seats in the middle of a giant gym. “Now introducing one-third of your Har-Ber High Class of 2021! Congrats!”

This would be about the time I would start looking for a gorgeous, pink, slim fit prom dress and instead I’m pondering even going to the semi-formal-replacement of prom. I watch all my Fayetteville friends post about their extravagant, yet still safe, prom on Snapchat feeling robbed. How come we can’t have a normal prom outside like they did? Every other school is. What sets Har-Ber apart? I don’t have the authority to answer these questions and maybe they’re not meant to be answered. Maybe there is no legitimate answer. 

COVID-19 is dangerous, but the cases have decreased tremendously.  Students are used to wearing masks and are willing to wear them in exchange for any sort of normalcy. However, seniors had no voice in any decisions made, so this idea was obviously neglected. Everyone hangs out together outside of school, so how come we are still being stripped of the staples of senior year. If other schools can figure out an alternate way to do things without taking away these staples, how come Har-Ber and Springdale can’t? It’s not March 2020 anymore.