A Letter from a High School Senior During a Pandemic

Senior year is a right of passage in America. The class of 2020 is getting it taken away.

Meredith Bushman, Editor in Chief

It’s Friday, March 20th, the fifth day my school district  has been closed to the global pandemic, better known as COVID-19. 

My younger siblings (grades 7 and 10) are unbothered being home from school. To them, it’s a vacation with some homework. But to me and my friends, it’s devastating.

This is our senior year, the moment we’ve been promised since most of us can remember. We’ve watched each year as the classes ahead of us have taken their turns– hearing their names called on senior night, walking in on decision day seeing a class celebrating their accomplishments, stumbling through the halls on the last day of school as they partake in the annual senior sit in, seeing them get dressed up for prom, and watching them walk across the stage on graduation day adorned in cap and gown as they receive their diplomas and finally toss their decorated caps into the air, celebrating that they made it. 

And now we may never get that.

We’re confined to our homes and being advised to limit all social contact. We’re sitting and watching as our senior sports seasons get cancelled, as our college visits get cancelled, as our classes get cancelled, as our field trips get cancelled, and we’re losing hope.

There’s no positive spin to be put on this. To be frank, it really sucks. There’s no good way to look at what was supposed to be one of the best times of your life get torn away from you, while you are forced to watch, unable to stop it. It’s painful.

No one will be able to make up for this time we are losing. Nothing can happen to make us get back the experiences we are undoubtedly missing out on while being home. I know that for a fact.

But I also know this generation is resilient. We were born into 9/11. We have grown up in a constant state of war, and gone to school in an era of school shootings. We’ve watched some of the worst political turmoil in our nation’s history– and we’re still here, fighting through it all.

This is not good. It’s nothing like we thought our senior year was going to be. I will be the last person to make a concession, or to try and make light of this situation, because it is terrible. But I know we will get through this.

After the Stoneman Douglas shooting, we watched this generation come together in a way that was not imaginable. We rallied behind their community, and saw a movement ignite. We fight for change everyday. This pandemic will be no exception.

My newspaper staff, composed of almost 30 members, has already been working diligently to cover the outbreak of Coronavirus. They are working to ensure that the public stays informed and stays safe in a time of panic and uncertainty. 

People are staying in, and my generation is advising them to. It’s starting to sink in that the only way for this to get better, is for it to get a little worse. We need to be scared right now, we need to be afraid to go outside and get others sick. For right now, we need to stay put. 

It would be so easy for my generation to rally and protest. I do not doubt that if we wanted to, we could organize protests and marches and complain until we’re blue in the face, because I’ve seen it done before.

But that’s not what’s best for everyone right now. Right now, we need to think of not only ourselves, but rather our global population. If sacrificing parts of our senior year is what is going to help, then that’s what we have to do.

We’re giving up so much now, so we all can have a future later. It’s time everyone rises to that same challenge, and looks toward the younger generations for guidance.

It makes me proud to be part of the generation I am. After this, I am confident that there will not be a problem we can’t solve. 

This is still our time. This is still our year.