Seniors, look at the bright side of this pandemic

Seniors%2C+look+at+the+bright+side+of+this+pandemic

Art by Juliana Hamel

Senior year is supposed to be the most memorable year of high school. After working tirelessly for twelve years, we are finally able to enjoy all the exciting senior year activities such as the senior trip, prom and, of course, graduation. But suddenly a global pandemic appears and, in the blink of an eye, all of that might change.

It’s frustrating and unfair. Believe me, I know. I’ve been stressing for weeks over the possibility that all the events I’ve been looking forward to could be cancelled. I didn’t spend years studying for tests and writing countless essays just for a pathetic finale to my Londonderry school career.

But while I’ve been quarantined in my house for the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to reflect. While this isn’t exactly the ideal way to wrap up our time here at LHS, I’ve grown to appreciate the bright side to an otherwise dismal situation.

It’s important to remember that we have time. As we can see, the COVID-19 situation can change by the minute. The truth is that we don’t know what will happen a week from now, nevermind two months into the future. Time is on our side, so try not to get too worked up just yet.

As much as I complain about being in school, I never realized how much I would miss it until I was told to stay home. I miss my friends, my teachers, and the routine that comes along with an average school day (even if it means waking up before the sun rises). So after Gov. Sununu announced that all New Hampshire schools will remain closed until May 4, some students, myself included, became a tad annoyed. 

After getting over my initial angst, however, I realized this self-isolation has its benefits. These next five weeks are the perfect opportunity to focus on ourselves. Catch up on some much needed rest, work on those pesky procrastination tendencies, or even solidify a skincare routine. After going nonstop for nearly our entire lives, this mandatory time at home is the perfect excuse to take some time for ourselves.

This is also a great time to finalize your plans for next fall. If you are trying to choose between two great colleges like myself, now you have five weeks to work out what you want. If you’re planning to enlist, join the workforce, or take a gap year, get all that you can squared away now.

If you miss seeing your friends everyday, just remember that your phone is the bridge to connect to each other. FaceTime each other, send each other goofy Snapchats, or play those dumb GamePigeon games. Just because we can’t be with each other physically doesn’t mean we can get together digitally.

Speaking of getting together, what happens to all those end-of-year activities like prom? I was excited to get all dressed up and spend the night with my friends. Plus, my nonrefundable dress cost a lot of money and I would be devastated to see it go to waste. And what about the senior trip? That cost a lot of money, too, and I was looking forward to spending a fun day at Thompson Island.

Remember that those occasions are months away. Like I said, time is on our side. In the event that coronavirus crashes the party, there are alternatives. The administration, our class advisors and our class officers have been working hard to ensure we get the celebrations we deserve. Even if prom or senior trip doesn’t happen the day we planned, chances are high that they will get rescheduled for a later date. Maybe it will end up better than if we went when originally planned, too.

If they don’t get rescheduled, it’s not the end of the world. Sure, it would be nice to celebrate the way we planned to, but if that’s not possible there are alternatives. Pick a fun location and spend the day there with your friends for a little day trip. We can still put on those dresses and tuxedos and throw our own prom sometime. 

As for spring sports? To be honest, I’ve been struggling to find a positive there myself. After a rocky indoor track season due to an injury, I was hoping I could redeem myself during the spring season. I wanted to run with my teammates one last time. I wanted to celebrate the conclusion of my track career. I had high hopes for my senior season. But with every extra week we spend in quarantine, that possibility becomes slimmer and slimmer. 

For many of us, this season was supposed to be the last hurrah before closing the chapter on sports. If it is any consolation, though, remember that your teammates are half of the reason that makes playing so fun. If and when you can, find time to have fun with those teammates. It’s no replacement for the time and memories lost on the field or track, but it sure is something.

Now what about graduation? Even thinking of a cancelled graduation sends waves of emotions throughout nearly every senior. We deserve to put on that cap and gown and walk across the stage to receive that diploma. We deserve to hear our friends and family cheer us on from the stands at the SNHU Arena. It’s hard to imagine it happening any other way.

Like I’ve said many times before: time is our friend. Graduation is two months away and a lot can happen in that two months. If something does happen to the graduation we’ve been planning for, I am confident we will have the celebration we deserve, even if that means receiving our diploma in the middle of July. And who knows, maybe people will feel so bad that we’ve had a pretty sucky senior year that our grad night turns out better than any other.

I’m not trying to downplay this tragic turn of events. It sucks. It’s unfair. It’s frustrating. We’ve waited so long for this moment and it’s devastating to have the senior year we’ve been working incredibly hard for to be stripped from us. But it’s important to stay positive. If we all stay home, wash our hands, and do what we are supposed to do, there is a much better chance that we can celebrate the way we want to.

We are an exceptionally resilient group of kids, Class of 2020. Though senior year may not turn out to be all it’s cracked up to be, this experience will make us stronger. And we’ll have one hell of a story because of it.

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