This Is Not The Senior Year I Expected

by Halle Knutson '20

High school is hard work and senior year is the ultimate culmination of that hard work. All of the papers and essays and tests have finally paid off, you’ve been accepted into college and your second semester is a celebration of your achievements. Well..not this year. There are many events that the Class of 2020 was anticipating, prom, senior trips, spring sports seasons, and graduation that are now in danger of being affected by COVID-19. 

Many other grades may take distance learning as an opportunity to have a break from their stressful classes, but how do the seniors feel about it?

I’ve been looking forward to my second semester of senior year because I knew that by then I would have my life somewhat figured out. I know where I’m going to college, I’ve put in large amounts of effort that would propel me to where I am today, and I deserve to celebrate my successes. It doesn’t feel good to know that I prepared extensively for lacrosse season and our run tests, only to have it taken away before we have one game. I don’t get to go on my final spring break trip with the lacrosse team. It’s disappointing to know that we may not have an opportunity to play for another state title because of outside sources. I was also planning on officially signing in April, a celebration that’s normally a big deal as it’s the next step in becoming a collegiate athlete. Now, we aren’t even sure if the ceremony will happen. 

Earlier this week we got the news that prom has officially been cancelled, yet another thing that's caused major disappointment, especially among the seniors who were looking forward to keeping with the tradition of wearing long dresses. As a senior, this is our last year, our last opportunity to participate in these traditions because we aren’t returning next year and there isn’t a second chance, which makes this situation even more devastating. I know that there are much worse things than not having a senior prom, but, it just feels unfair and untimely. Why did this have to happen my senior year and why at this specific time? 

I spoke to two seniors, Emma Bartholomay and Patrick Lavayen about how coronavirus has impacted their senior experience. When asking them how COVID-19 was impacting their senior year, Patrick noted that his time with his friends is very limited stating, “Coronavirus has affected my senior year by cutting me off from people at school and limiting the time I get to see people. I can't go out and hang out with as many friends because of concerns my parents have over the virus.” To some, this may not sound like a big deal, but, as seniors, our time is already limited so to have that taken away is somewhat devastating. 

Both Patrick and Emma were saddened by the cancelation of prom, especially because it’s our senior year. Emma noted, “I’ll never get to show my kids pictures from my senior prom.” She was also sad about the abrupt stop of baseball season, where this would’ve been her 3rd year as a manager. 

Both Patrick and Emma are not 100% sure where they are planning to go to college. While Emma had already committed to Colorado College, she wanted to tour the school before making a final decision. Now, because of Coronavirus, she won’t have that opportunity. “I do want to go to Colorado College but Corona has forced me to take a giant leap of faith and go without seeing the campus.” she said. “So hopefully I like it and don’t transfer.” Patrick is more unsure about where he wants to go to college and not being able to tour campuses is a big problem. He stated, “I won't be able to re-tour any of the schools I've been accepted to. For me, that's a big deal because I really haven't been able to choose between the schools I've been accepted to so by not being able to physically visit any of these schools it has made my decision a lot harder.”

Coronavirus is something that we don’t have the answers to. It’s a black hole of uncertainty and we can’t predict its future. We don’t know when we will be able to return to school, or when this virus will stop, but if I’ve learned anything from this strange situation is to not take the seemingly “normal” days, for granted because you never appreciate what you have until it's gone.