By: Miranda Mong
As a member of the Class of 2020, I have experienced this virus as a rude introduction into adulthood. With school closed and a traditional graduation impossible, my new senior year routine includes a messy sleep schedule and hours upon hours of Netflix binges. It seems like I have aged decades in just two months.
I may hardly qualify as an adult, but the coronavirus outbreak has forced me to grow up much faster than expected. Whether practicing social distancing or trying to navigate education behind a screen, I am fulfilling my new responsibilities to the world while mourning the promise of a final year that never came.
While my decision-making skills are still questionable at best, I am making some of the life changing choices necessary to keep my community safe. With schools shut down, an entire generation of students has gone from having to ask for permission to use the bathroom to knowing any irresponsible actions could lead to someone else getting sick. With no teachers around to pick me up when I fall, this reality check is certainly a slap in the face.
The senior class also has plenty of free time to daydream about what could have been and what now may never be due to COVID-19. Personally, I have found it hard to see our graduation as a fresh start when the whole world is drowning in losses. I have lost my last year of childhood, my last school trip, my last chance to make memories with friends, and my last months of innocence as a high school kid. I had no idea how much I was taking for granted with my fake sick days and skipping classes. With thousands of people dead and more dying each day, my classmates and I have even lost the privilege to grieve over our senior year.
While the future may be unknown for all of us, this could not be truer for the Class of 2020.
Many of us have lost the opportunities we have strived for our whole lives. We are taking on student loans for colleges we have never even visited. We are enlisting in the military while a war continues to rage on right outside of our homes. We have hardly even had a chance to live.
As we look toward the future, I fear for the Class of 2020 and what this quarantine will mean for us, our families, and our education. Still, if our perseverance through COVID-19 has proven anything, it is that we can endure the change to everything we know and live to tell the tale. Now all there is to do is try to stick together and confide in each other through this time, either six feet apart or through a screen, to make the most of what this year has left for us, even if it doesn’t seem like much. No one who knows what we are going through better than each other.