During the Oct. 11, 2019 pep rally at MSD, the senior students applauded and cheered for their school. Photo by Sam Grizelj
Twelve years. Twelve years of hard work. Twelve years of stress. Twelve years of studying. Twelve years of late nights. Twelve years of falling asleep with our textbooks open and homework scattered across the bed. Twelve years of late-night projects and essays. Twelve years of preparing for standardized tests and hoping to get a passing score. Twelve years of dreaming; twelve years of hoping; twelve years — and the moment to shine has come.
Seniors began to climb the steps that would lead them to the fateful day of being let out into the real world, only to have that staircase crumble beneath their feet. We have to watch our future dissipate in a matter of seconds, after everything we have done to reach the surface. There is a possibility of losing it all — no prom, no graduation, no world trips and no final moments. Twelve years; and for all of it to vanish in front of our eyes.
For most of us across the country, a precious year has been taken from our grasp. We seniors wallow in defeat after working our hardest to make it to these final moments. This indescribable feeling is more than just pain chewing at our heart and a raging fire burning at the pit of our stomachs — it’s something far more than words can describe.
As a class, we will never be able to remake such precious memories ever in our lifetime. Sure, we can make our own proms and build a graduation, but it’s not the same as walking across the stage and feeling the weight lifting off your shoulders as you say, “I did it,” the feeling of finally completing our educational career will never be as we imagined.
It is not something that most parents and alumni will understand because they have already had their experience of a “normal” senior year. They have already had their prom, their late-night drives to the beach, the movie nights, graduation, world trips and almost everything else a senior dreams of. But, for us, it seems that such simple lights in life are far out of reach.
After the traumatic experience of the shooting at our school on Feb. 14, 2018, during our sophomore year, all we hoped for were the highlights that senior year would bring us: prom, grad bash and graduation. These were the events that the whole class looked forward to, but after the shooting, high school had become different, and we could never continue to experience life as “normal.” Even stepping into the school makes us feel this unnecessary dread and emptiness that we were hoping the senior experience would allow us to escape from. However, due to this pandemic, it looks like the chances of getting these experiences to relieve us from the traumatic experience are slim.
Born in a year tragedy struck and ended high school with an infectious disease, it makes you wonder: Is the class of 2020 cursed?
The idea is laughable at best and probably not true, but instead of focusing on the negative, we should start looking at the positive to give us some hope for the future. If life is this bad now, it can’t get any worse. Meaning, there is still hope and still a chance for way more out there.
We still need to keep our heads up, and still need to keep looking forward; there has to be something better than this, right?