This year, the state of Maryland closed all public schools for two weeks due to the newly outbroken Coronavirus, COVID-19, and senior year for the class of 2020 was put on pause.
Seniors were sent home having to wonder if they would get what they’ve worked so hard for these past four years at Mt. Hebron, such as their spring sports, the spring Musical, senior prom, class night, the senior picnic, and the most importantly, Graduation.
Senior lacrosse player Ally DeBels says “As a senior, losing my last season of lacrosse hit hard. It’s a sport I love playing and I miss being with my team. However, I am happy that I got to spend the time I’ve spent with them, and I know the underclassmen will do great things next year!”
Senior baseball player Magnus Dunn said, “I played my last high school baseball game without knowing it was my last and it sucks knowing I probably won’t get to play with these guys again.”
The Coronavirus unexpectedly took away so much from the class of 2020 in one fell swoop and nobody knows what’s going to happen. Not only has the Coronavirus affected seniors at school, but also in other aspects of their lives, like work and being unable to see family.
Senior Noel Quijada said, “This has opened my eyes to how privileged I was living. I miss showing my smile with customers at my job, which I miss dearly. My mouth hasn’t given shouts of joy by the jokes of my friends. The company of my grandparents has been a craving of mine. Although it’s been a true battle to fight and endure, I know at the end of the day everyone is going through this as well and it’s not just me. This only happens once in a lifetime and it’s a story that all of us can tell.”
These times are unprecedented and nerve wracking, but they’re also upsetting. Everything a high schooler expects they’ll get was not the case for the graduating class of 2020. Prom has been cancelled and graduation will be celebrated online. Senior Maggie Zhang commented, “Covid-19 ruined the fun part of our senior year. Some of the most important milestones of our lives, especially graduation, aren’t guaranteed anymore. I hope we can get back to school and finish off our last year of high school in a positive way.”
Class of 2020’s graduation is no longer a normal celebration at Merriweather post pavilion, but it’s now going to be celebrated virtually in our own homes amongst our fellow classmates. Petitions are going around Howard County to postpone graduation ceremonies until they could possibly be in person. Even though there is a possible celebration later this summer to honor the seniors it’s still nowhere close to the true authentic graduation ceremony.
Mt.Hebron seniors hope for a strong ending, but also wish for the new beginnings at college campuses for the fall semester. So many students worked so hard throughout their high school experience to get the grades, recognition, and acceptances into their dream schools. What happens if that gets taken away too?
In the fall of 2020, the Coronavirus is said to have a second wave come, which could shut down Universities and have professors and students engage in online classes just like we are doing now with distance learning. Social Distancing is the newest norm society has had to learn. For seniors graduating and leaving for college, it’s especially hard to be unable to share the last few months of the school year and summer with your peers, teachers and friends.
Senior Jason VanTine said, “While it may be stating the obvious, this was not how I wanted my senior year to end. I wished for snow days and rejoiced in cancellations during the winter, but as spring came there was too much to be excited about at school to miss any. I had finally gotten a lead in the school musical and set myself to be a starter and impactful player on the baseball team.”
Class of 2020 seniors didn’t get a normal senior year and it’s heartbreaking to come to terms with the fact that we are unable to go back to school when it’s everyone’s last year there.