Seniors: Memories before quarantine 

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Art by Jill Morani

Drawing of a little girl walking away from a graduation cap.

Let me see if I can take you back. Not two years, not five years, not seven years. Let me take you back to your first day of elementary school. 

Your transition from kindergarten to elementary school seemed like such a big step at the time, didn’t it? You felt like you wouldn’t be able to make any new friends because your kindergarten friends went off to different elementary schools. It was scary. 

A couple of days into first grade, however, and you started to get acclimated into a group. They hadn’t exactly warmed up to you yet, but you held onto these friendships as tightly as you could. It paid off. Now you had friends to watch Disney Channel movies with.  

The most popular one at the time was arguably, High School Musical. A movie which, if you aren’t aware, shows a high school with cool teens getting by and having the time of their lives. 

Do you remember talking to your friends about it? It gave us a sense of hope at the time that high school was going to be great. So with that in mind we went off to middle school, our dreams following us. 

Now let’s be honest, middle school sucked BIG TIME. I don’t know one person that said that middle school years were the best of their life. We were all figuring each other out, figuring out how to manage homework and practice and home life. It was tough. 

Can we all agree that we all saw high school in the distance and hung on to hope? We only had three years to get through before things could get better. We continued to dream because we hadn’t yet taken things seriously. 

We started freshman year in a completely unrecognizable building, a bustling lobby, and twenty million hallways that we had to try to navigate. The seniors were some of the people that helped us get around the school, even though they were the first to tease the underclassmen at pep rallies. 

Sophomore year was kind of like the puberty of high school. It was incredibly awkward and nobody asked for it. It was necessary to move forward though, and it was one of the hardest years for many high school students. 

Junior year is when we all had to really buckle down. The dreams we had of being a ballerina or an astronaut seemed to be behind us. The classes we took helped to shape our new found passions that we would act on. 

Now it’s senior year. The first half of the year seemed slow, didn’t it? Maybe it was just me. We just wanted to get to all of the senior events that so many of my friends had told me about.

 When my friends and I had gotten the news about COVID-19, we brushed it off. 

When it came to New Hampshire, we knew we’d have to be careful but we brushed it off. 

When it took our senior year… we didn’t brush it off. 

All of the dreams we had in our elementary school years, the naive way we viewed high school. Hearing about how great senior year would be for years finally came to a stop. 

I feel guilty now… for complaining about walking to and from the RECS in the cold weather, I feel guilty for haphazardly “paying attention” in my classes, and worst of all I feel guilty for taking my senior year for granted. 

I miss walking into a class where my supportive teachers were waiting and my friends sat with smiling faces. I even miss the crowded main lobby, because even though it was always humid, I got to see just how incredible every student in this school was. 

I can’t count the amount of times I drove past our high school in the past couple of months on one hand. I had no real reason, other than to just drive past the school I never got to fully say goodbye to. 

I didn’t get to say goodbye to my teachers, I didn’t get to say goodbye to my friends, I didn’t get to say goodbye to the noisy cafeteria or the quiet library that was my home away from home. 

I just want to walk through the halls one more time and say goodbye to every memory that I made… to say goodbye the right way. The way that everyone before me got to do. I can’t have that now though.

All I know now is that I want out. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like all of the motivation I once had to finish the year and graduate got pulled out of me and dissolved. Now I can’t wait to get off of my laptop and start sitting outside. 

If there was one thing that COVID-19 has taught me…

Don’t take what you have for granted, even going to the park or beach can be taken away…

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