COVID-19 has canceled our senior year… kind of

Jordyn Britton, Staff Writer

For me the big question this year is, ‘How can I feel personally victimized by a pandemic that has literally affected every single person in America?’ Is it because this was supposed to be my senior year? Does it hurt more because I’m a captain of a team that doesn’t have games anymore? Maybe it’s that I only get to
go to school twice a week, and there aren’t any freshmen around to look up to me. Whatever it is, I can’t feel sorry for myself because there are kids who don’t even get to go into school,
and even more who aren’t playing sports, and then to top it off, some who actually have coronavirus. So how can I, a perfectly healthy senior who sees her friends in person twice a week and still gets to be a captain for the volleyball team, feel I’ve been cheated?

What’s crazy is that I don’t even know if this was what senior year was supposed to feel like. It’s as if there’s literally nothing to look forward to, and the only way to pass the time is to feel overwhelmed by all the homework we have while applying to college—one of the most taxing and stressful processes we’ve ever undertaken—or maybe just overreact to one bad grade or missed assignment until it’s all too much and all we want to do is lie down and close our eyes until it’s all over. This might sound dramatic, but I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way.

It’s bad enough that all the good things about senior year, like Homecoming, prom, Senior Night for sports teams, mask-less school days, hanging out on weekends, being in-person role models to underclassmen, spring break, etc., are canceled, but
the things replacing them (at the fault of none other than COVID) are just so…weak. I barely went to virtual senior night, and on top of that, Homecoming has been on a downward trajectory since sophomore year and has now (again, thanks to COVID) reached an all-time low.

It makes sense that the school is trying to come up with ways for us to engage in activities together, but we’ve been doing virtual whatevers since March, so just seeing “Homecoming” or “Cocktail Reception” as part of the event title doesn’t magically make it something we want to be a part of. I know it’s hard for teachers and administrators to come up with ways to make
us feel as normal as possible, but the harder they try, the more we are reminded of how not-normal life is right now.

Everyone who spent their quarantine and their COVID summer coming up with ways for us to see each other and have in-person school made a wonderful effort. The fact that we are
able to have our senior athletic season is a fabulous addition to the year. My own saving grace has been being able to come to school for those two hours a day, three days a week where I get to be a leader to a group of girls that I’ve been playing with for the last three years. I think one thing the school has done well is give us the chance to spend our last fall on the teams we’ve been a part of from the beginning. Even in the rain or in the cold, on a field instead of a gym, it’s fun getting to be together outside.
It’s a new adventure that I for sure would not undertake unless with my team.

I guess that’s what it comes down to—finding things to look forward to. Even if you have to look into the deepest, darkest corner of your mind, you just have to make it work. Making it work is what I think we, the seniors, are best at. Especially because we don’t have a choice.