Local High School Seniors Speak About Effects of COVID-19 on Their Senior Year

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       It almost seemed like the entire world came to a screeching halt when the Coronavirus pandemic struck in the spring. Everything we knew as “normal” was changed. Although the terrible sickness and loss of life has certainly been the most tragic result of the pandemic, the disappointment of high school seniors not getting to finish their senior year has struck a chord with students and parents alike. While students in lower grades will hopefully get to go back to school this fall and pick up where they left off, graduating seniors won’t ever have the chance again to participate in all the activities associated with the last few months of senior year.

       Three seniors from Wayne County were asked to write a little bit about how the virus has affected them and their senior year. Read on to see how these young people feel about the situation.

       “COVID-19, an outbreak that not even the class of 2020 saw coming, has undeniably struck our nation and our world broadly. Among the victims of this “pandemic” are my classmates. Many of us have dreamed of our graduation, senior prom, senior play, final baseball and softball season, last academic banquet, and our last awards days for as long as we can remember. The news of these events being cancelled or postponed is certainly hard to hear. The toughest part of being quarantined is knowing that we will not be able to create those memories with our friends. If we knew that the week prior to our last spring break was our final chance to walk the halls at Wayne County High School, we definitely would have attempted to make it more memorable. We will forever take back all the times that we said we didn’t wanna go to school. As we reminisce, it is important to appreciate all the time that we were given—and it is also important to realize how easily everything could be taken away.

       “Everyone has been affected by COVID-19, whether it be physically, emotionally, financially, or whatever your case may be. I know you’re tired of hearing about it— I know I am. I want to share the things that have given me peace and encouraged me through this…While it is easy to be angry and upset to see our lives play out like this, we must learn to be content. I encourage you to practice gratefulness and to trust God’s provision. Right now, all we see is our brokenness and crushed dreams, but God has a bigger and better plan for our lives. I want to remind you that even if our world is shaken— God is still in control and He will never leave us nor forsake us. Forget what is behind you, and press forward to what is ahead (Philippians 3:13-14). Times like these bring uncertainty and disappointment (read Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 41:10 ..for comfort and reassurance). Hang in there, this will all be over soon.” When your head is down, it’s hard to see the sunset.-Bro. Mike Kemper Patience>Pride, God>everything, kindness>hate, perseverance>giving up

       -Written by Tiffany Winger, Wayne County High School

      “The Coronavirus Pandemic has affected us all in so many ways. During the time of year for Seniors to be living up their last days in high school, it is the exact opposite. In my opinion, it’s exactly like we’ve graduated and moved on and away to begin the next chapters of our lives. However, instead of being away from our friends and families, away at college or at work, we are still nearby to one another. Your friends are still close by at their homes just like you, but instead of being able to see them every day like at school or just go hang out like a Friday night, you can’t. Everything is closed. You’re not supposed to be within 6 feet of another human being. No groups larger than 10 together – while maintaining social distancing standards. Well, that pretty well crosses out your Senior Prom and your Graduation – at least at their original, scheduled dates. There is nothing normal about going back to campus in June for prom or *officially* graduating at Graduation. Of course I see that creating problems for many as well – specifically those entering the workforce straight out of school. The majority of jobs require at least a high school diploma, and everyone knows young people want to go for all they can as soon as they meet basic eligibility. 

       “For me personally, it threw a wrench in my plans for the rest of the year.  Instead of enjoying the bus rides with my teammates for one last go-round in high school baseball, I’m enjoying the company of the cattle on our farm while I help feed or fix fences. However, quarantine hasn’t been the worst thing since I’ve been trying to keep busy. On the contrary, we can all say that it hasn’t been our finest time either. But instead of worrying about these uncertain times, we must remember that it has to rain in order to have a rainbow. These times are nothing but a storm with a large rainbow and pot of gold waiting on the other side for all of us.”

       -Written by Cody Warren, Frank Hughes High School

       “When asked how the coronavirus has affected my Senior year of high school, I have to say I feel robbed! I feel robbed of all the ‘lasts’ of my high school career! Things I will never again get the opportunity to experience. I expected a few more months of high school and never thought I was walking out the door for the last time. Those moments got taken away! Although I am sad my Senior year has ended this way, it will definitely be something for the yearbook! I am excited to see what the future holds.”

       -Written by Merida Brewer, Collinwood High School