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Since the school closures last March (wow, almost an entire year ago), everyone has been talking about what seniors are missing out on. Whether it’s their last year of high school or college, seniors are clearly not able to make the most of their final year of school. I can’t imagine how disappointed they all must be.

However, they aren’t the only ones missing out on their last years. Eighth graders are missing out on their last year of middle school, and while it may not be as big of a deal as our 12th grade year would be, we are still missing a lot of traditions that we have looked forward to. At Logan Middle, we have missed a lot of the exciting activities that 8th graders usually get to participate in.

The first thing that eighth graders are missing out on is the “Get A Life” program, or something similar. This program is where students are randomly assigned an imaginary life, complete with children, a spouse, jobs and other aspects of life. The point of this program is to prepare students for life, and to teach us how to manage our money properly. Since this program usually consists of every eighth grade student walking around the gymnasium, it was canceled this year.

We are also missing out on multiple field trips. The seventh and eighth graders at my school always go to King’s Island for a weekend in May, and we have looked forward to it since we began middle school. The eighth graders this year will not be able to go for their seventh or eighth grade year, which is undoubtedly a disappointment to us.

We would also normally go on a field trip to Wheeling, and visit the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville. This trip is quite possibly the most well-known reward throughout my school, and now we will not get to experience it.

There are a few other field trips that we are unable to go on as well, such as Ace Adventures. I know that this is the safest option, and I am glad that we are making the smart decision in this instance, but I still wish that this was a normal year.

My class will also not be able to participate in many of the activities that usually coincide with National Junior Honor Society. We would typically have a special induction ceremony at the end of our seventh grade year, but it was on Zoom last spring.

During our eighth grade year, we would usually have many volunteer opportunities, as well as fun privileges at school and field trips. This year, though, we have only been able to work in our school’s food pantry. We are hoping to be able to visit Ace Adventures in May, but everything else has been canceled. We have all watched the older classes go on these exciting trips, and looked forward to the year that we would be able to go, only to lose the opportunities entirely.

This year’s eighth graders are also not able to really experience being the oldest group in the school. Younger students normally look up to the eighth graders, but this year has been so crazy that we haven’t been able to be around the other kids.

Although we aren’t technically graduating, eighth graders are certainly missing out on a lot this year. Everyone in school during this pandemic is missing out on something, but especially those who are in fifth grade, eighth grade, 12th grade and senior year of college.

The staff at Logan Middle School has done everything that they can to make our year the best that it can be, but nothing can replace how great a normal year would have been. I know that we have no other safe option, but I still can’t help but wish that we had normal a year. Hopefully, if everyone abides by the simple guidelines, we will all be able to have a normal year next year and for the years to come.

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