I wake up to an alert on my phone, reminding me that tomorrow is the senior awards ceremony. Oh wait ... that was a previous plan, placed on the calendar before I could even dream of today’s reality.
The quarantine is opposite of what I imagined the last parts of my senior year to be. The most excitement I’ve ever anticipated, graduation — possibly gone in an instant. I am still hoping for a summer commencement.
A time of celebration and togetherness has become one of the most lonely times I’ve ever experienced. My after-school symphony, play practice, tutoring fellow students alongside a plethora of homework all disappeared. I thrive under pressure, and time management is essential to survival. Accordingly, my days are lethargic and lackluster. There are rarely any early mornings.
I have never felt a greater sense of gratitude: Essential workers protect and maintain a sense of normalcy in these uncharted times. My heart aches for those who have lost their lives.
I never could have imagined this strange global phenomenon. I do not want to, in any way, shape or form, appear selfish. But I am extremely disheartened that I, along with my classmates, feel such a great uncertainty looming in our shadows.
A pandemic during my senior year ... wait, what? I’m supposed to be walking down the hall to my next class, conversing with friends and hearing about college acceptances and who was going with who to the prom.
I envisioned excitedly memorizing lines for the baker in “Into the Woods” — my biggest role ever — yet it will never come to fruition.
My days now include Zoom conferences, figuring out parametric equations in calculus, attempting to teach my mom to use a new computer system for her online work, memorizing the major arteries, long FaceTimes at 3 in the morning, overeating, practicing French presentation and numerous walks waving to neighbors from afar.
I never thought that losing my Wi-Fi connection while being at home could be so stressful. For a day and a half, our internet was out. My sister is trying to get through her graduate classes at Brown, certainly challenging. I’m attempting to fathom that I am graduating in a month. My mom is overwhelmed with working from home while planning our spring break, which was ordering pizza for movie night.
Will my college experience be online? Will I practice social distancing throughout the summer? My mind is constantly racing with the worst-case scenarios. I am so fearful that this might go on significantly longer.
The thought that the class of 2020 might not have the experience of graduation — a turning point, a chapter closing, a symbol of moving forward, and everything in between. So much for practicing my speech.
No project graduation at the YMCA. No handing my mom a rose or hugging my dad and brother at Baccalaureate. No graduation parties. No final day of high school and saying goodbye to teachers. No visiting colleges to help me with a life decision.
How could anyone forget about sports, theater, extracurriculars in general? No final sports season for spring athletes. My admit weekend for college was canceled. I’ve only seen my future campus once, and briefly at that. Stanford has a gong that each admitted student strikes and yells what state/country they are from. I have been practicing my swing to no avail. I am just imagining the sound of “West Virginia, USA!”