I’m not sure if we were just the lucky class, or if this was some trick of karma, but it feels like someone had it out for the Class of 2020.
It started out completely normal, and who were we to suspect anything different? School dragged on with the normal stress of senior year: college apps, tests, FAFSA, scholarships, and all the extra things added on top of a daily workload and extracurriculars.
During the school year I participated in three sports, six clubs, a job, and had two volunteer positions with community organizations. I committed time to each of these along with the IB Program, an intense curriculum designed to make students think more thoroughly in their classes while subjecting them to an extremely time-consuming workload. Basically, I haven’t had free time since I started high school. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a movie without a never-ending list of responsibilities in the back of my mind.
With the arrival of COVID-19, all of that has changed.
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All of my after school activities suddenly ceased to exist. The community organizations no longer had a community present to serve. I worked at a local shoe store, which eventually closed down because of a lack of business. Schools, churches, parks, restaurants, stores, and beaches all shut down. People thought it was a joke. It took a $500 fine to keep people off of the beaches, and some still resisted that.
When people finally realized what was happening, it was as though the world was ending. In reality our town hadn’t been hit very hard, but food and amenities went flying off the shelves. People acted as though everyone had the virus, and if you coughed they went running. I would go for a jog in the morning, and people would run into the road just to stay six feet away from me.
That was before the virus actually became serious.
Suddenly our senior year had come to a standstill. I distinctly remember my chorus teacher telling us goodbye before spring break, because he didn’t know if we would come back to school. We laughed. We told him to stop trying to scare us and to have a good break. Little did we know, that would be the last time we saw him. Slowly major events came and went. Track meets passed by without competitors, chorus concerts with songs unsung. My prom dress is hanging in my closet, the price tag still on it. School counselors keep telling us there’s hope for graduation, but I don’t know what to believe. I’m tired of being let down.
People tell me, “Wow, senior year. This must really suck for you.” I won’t lie and tell them it’s great, but I never know how to respond. When everything you’ve worked for ends because of something considerably smaller than the tip of a pencil, what are you supposed to do?
For the first time in our lives, no one seems to have an answer. I end up telling them that it is what it is, and really that’s all there is to say. My life was interrupted, but so were the lives of people all over the world, some permanently. In reality, I’ve been lucky. All there is to do now is prepare for college, live a good life, and someday use this as a horror story to make my grandchildren wash their hands.
» Tianji Zhang: ‘We should be thankful for what we have’
» James DeChoch: ‘To the class of 2020, hats off to you’
» Emily Venglar: ‘My prom dress is hanging in my closet, the price tag still on it’
» Cole Hurley: ‘Saying the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped my senior year is an understatement’
» Karsyn Pasanowic: ‘I am grateful for the time that I’ve had at Fort Myers High School’
» Shaznay Benwarisngh: ‘My glass finally broke’
» Madison Reynolds: ‘Being able to see progress creates a larger sense of hope’
» Russell Calderon: ‘No one’s laughing now’
» Billy Micard: ‘I will always wonder what if’
» In their own words: Class of 2020 shows us how to rise above a pandemic with ‘sage advice’
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