By: Ayla Valone
When I entered Eisenhower in September 2019, my head was filled with the thought that this was my last year and I planned for fun and excitement. Little did I expect that it would be abruptly ended by a Global Pandemic. This pandemic has put all our lives to a screeching halt; within the last few months our lives have changed drastically. Those changes include little socialization, businesses shut down, extra safety precautions like masks and gloves, economic downfall, and this is only the surface of the problem. Since this has happened, my life has changed in the way I graduate, the long-term effects of the pandemic, and many more ways.
Being a senior has not been what I expected. I envisioned easy classes, parties, prom, and, most of all, graduation. Little did I know I wasn’t going to get any of it; this year has brought me a lot of anger, sadness, and disappointment. I’m angry that we were cheated out of one of the best times to be alive. I’m sad and disappointed that I never got to say goodbye. What I looked forward to the most was graduation. For over the past four years, I have pushed on and told myself that I’m going to walk across that stage and everything I’ve worked for will be worth it. Now it just seems meaningless. I know that I will receive my diploma, but it won’t be the same. I will never have the satisfaction of truly completing high school. I feel there will always be a hole that surrounds my senior year. I not only wanted this for myself but for my family as well. It pains me to know that my parents are never going to get to see any of their kids graduate, especially when I’ve put in all the effort and feel that we deserve a real ceremony. But, I know that can’t happen, and I know I must accept that all we have is the virtual graduation. Personally, I would rather completely skip graduation in general than do it virtually.
One thing in the back of my mind I have thought about during quarantine is how this is going to change us all. I think we all need to come to realize that we have no idea how this might affect us within a year from now. We could be looking at the new normal; what if this doesn’t go away? The scariest part of this pandemic is we know nothing about it, which means we are not going to have a vaccine any time soon.
In the end, there is little we can do about this outbreak and we all are concerned for our loved ones, but we are staying strong in these uncertain times. All we can do is stay as clean as possible, stay healthy, and hope for the best. The class of 2020 will be remembered, and we all need to keep in mind that it will get better. I am truly disappointed that this is the way I’m ending high school. I felt there was more for us all this year, but unfortunately everything isn’t going to play out the way we all thought it was.