2020 Vision: An Alternate Reality for the Senior Class


Credit: Maddy Kye

Maddy Kye, Contributing Writer

Being a senior in 2020 is like standing at a crossroads. Except that’s it. All we’re doing is standing there. We don’t know when we’ll be permitted to cross, but there is some relief in that all the same; there are loose ends on our side that we still have to tie up and we aren’t quite ready to leave. 

But all we are able to do is stand there, unmoving. Standing is a glorified term for “sitting in our houses trying to find a good show to binge on Netflix.” Quarantine has the senior class completely and utterly trapped. The problem with this trap is that we aren’t frozen in time (though that would have issues in its own right). Clocks are ticking, calendar pages are flipping, and we’re sitting home having an extended, unwanted senior cut day. 

At first everything was a distorted sort of fun. It was Friday, March 13th (how foreboding!) and I was joking with teachers about when I’d see them again. I argued with my sister about how we were going to fit her NHD project in the car; she reasoned we couldn’t be out of school for long enough that there wouldn’t be another time to take the project home. I was nervous, but I let it go with the classic “not my problem” mentality. We all knew it was coming, but in the beginning, many of us didn’t comprehend how serious this could become. It was the break from the dreary days of March and seemed like an easy fast forward to the parts of senior year we were all looking forward to. And then: Wait, we can’t go out? Social distancing until mid-May the earliest? Masks that make you feel like you’re suffocating at the grocery store, afraid to step too close to a stranger as you try to grab a pack of blackberries?

I have outstanding work for classes that I can’t believe matter when there is so much being ripped away.

When we learned that schools would be closed until early April, I was surprised. Maybe I was sheltered. Maybe I was too hopeful. Either way, as I write this, today is April 26th. It’s a Sunday. I have outstanding work for classes that I can’t believe matter when there is so much being ripped away.

The idea of graduation, mystical as it was and real as it became as the years went by, was never a question. It was on the list, alongside all of the other things that were supposed to just happen. We were supposed to have a spring musical. We were supposed to have a senior cut day. We were supposed to have spring sports. We were all supposed to be together, putting on senior shirts and prancing down hallways reminiscing. In short, I shouldn’t be sitting at home scrolling through my camera roll and looking for memories that I won’t have. It’s a shame, too, because I have several blank spaces in my multipicture frame that I intended to fill with recent photos: another thing I just expected to happen.

I suppose now is the time I’m supposed to say that this has changed me fundamentally as a person and that I am better prepared than I would have been had this pandemic not occurred, but I don’t think that’s true. It has made me bitter and angry. It’s hard to feel okay being furious at the world when there are people dying. This should have been mentioned earlier, but I am very aware of the greater hardships people are facing. I know that people are suffering and that maybe this is a smaller issue, but this is a school paper, and here’s your column for student life. 

…a yearbook is useless without the people who are supposed to sign it.

We’re being told that of course we’ll still have yearbooks and people are still planning on ordering senior shirts, but to me, a yearbook is useless without the people who are supposed to sign it. Senior year, we are supposed to write long, heartfelt messages to our friends so that we can read them later on, be it when we’re lonely our first week of college or when we rediscover it and dust it off as part of our spring cleaning in the years to come. 

People are trying to hold on to the idea of still having a graduation. I am too. Especially considering all of the honor society dues, shallow as it is, I really want my cords. I want to walk up and get my diploma. I want to go to prom and have an amazing time with my friends as a sort of last high school hurrah. I want this summer; I want this summer more than anything because I not only want to have a carefree summer where only college awaits and I’m not expected to do things that look nice on applications but because I want this fall.

To think how far we’ve come since we entered the district in 2007. The people, the clubs, the sports. Everything. 

Really, 2020 was what we’ve all been waiting for. The roaring twenties again, hopefully avoiding a 2029 stock market crash. The 2020 we asked for was not the 2020 we got. Myself and the senior class wanted this year so badly. To think how far we’ve come since we entered the district in 2007. The people, the clubs, the sports. Everything. 

2020 has been wild, to say the least. We’re stuck at the crossroads, indefinitely. We’re losing motivation for school because much of what we’ve worked for will never come to fruition. It’s unbelievably frustrating. There is no nice way to end this piece because these feelings are still valid at the end of this piece. They aren’t going away. Even if we do have some sort of modified, quasi-graduation, this time lost cannot be given back. We don’t get back this time. We don’t get the memories we wanted. This is how it is. This isn’t how it should be. This wasn’t supposed to happen. But it did happen. 

To the underclassmen, I hope that when it’s your turn to graduate, you don’t get stuck at the crossroads. I hope that you step up with confidence, having had a senior cut day, a signed yearbook, a diploma, spring sports, a musical, a spring concert, and so many other things that I can’t name. I hope that when you reach the crossroads, you’re finished with this side. Everything is wrapped up. I hope that when you reach the crossroads, you can cross with friends, instead of sitting there by yourself.