All high schools in the world will have their class of 2020 seniors go down in the history books for reasons no one ever expected.
Most high school students dream of getting to their senior year. The reasons vary from student to student, but the end result is walking across that stage, putting your tassel to the other side of the cap and getting your coveted high school diploma.
It’s looking like this year parents, grandparents and family will not be shedding a tear seeing their favorite senior in a cap and gown. There will be no onslaught of pictures to memorialize this occasion. No social media posts with giant cigars, girlfriends and the huge family.
Unfortunately the big parties to celebrate the four years of hard work most likely won’t be allowed. No gatherings of more than 5 people in the back yards, under the tents. No huge table full of every kind of food under the sun. No big coolers of ice with soda, beer and juice boxes for the little ones.
It’s gut wrenching to think there may be no Dads manning the grills while all the guys gather around toasting to his senior’s success. No Mom at the table with her family bragging about her senior’s accomplishments and what their plans are for their summer job or what the plan is for going to college next year.
Instead of all the great memories and experiences most everyone has had during their senior year of high school the class of 2020 gets COVID-19. An aggressive disease responsible for thousands of deaths in the world in just a few short months. These seniors get to go home schooled video conferencing, to pick up school lunches at drop stations and athletes will most likely miss there spring sports seasons.
Students who were still waiting on decisions from their colleges may have to wait longer or perhaps even experience diminished acceptance rates. Students that were waiting for college tours, overnight visits and accepted student tours now get the virtual reality experience. This is all nice, but a shell of what they expected walking into their high schools as a 14 year old freshman.
Athletes from winter sports do not get their team or recognition banquets. Athletes that play spring sports have it even worse, they will probably not see a senior season at all. Senior’s that going to play a sport at the next level now have a sense of uncertainty due to the NCAA ruling that seniors who missed their season can get another year of eligibility. Does this take away from college freshman that we’re entering the athletic world?
While it seems like this article is just a summary of negativity happening to our high school seniors out there, there is some positivity that can be found from this. If these seniors can learn to handle the adversity thrown at them it could be the best lesson they have ever learned in their four years.
The class of 2020 doesn’t get a choice. No one asked them if they wanted to give up senior prom, graduation parties and spring athletic seasons. They do however have a choice in how to handle the situation. It’s not the fun choice, but doing the right thing in these times can really set this group of graduates up to deal with adversity for the rest of their lives.
Coming to grips with the fact that any academic or athletic accomplishments may be sharing the spotlight with COVID-19 is a harsh reality. This makes parents feel for their children, teachers sad for their students, Coaches heavy hearted for their players and teammates trying to step up for each other.
The past few weeks have been really difficult for everyone, but this article is about our graduating seniors all over the world. We see what you are going through. There are so many good people who put their thoughts to work everyday on how to fix things. Keep your mind and body healthy. Stay the course on whatever your plans were for after graduation, it will all still come.
I’m sorry this is happening to all of you. Remember, the world has had it’s problems and always bounced back. This will be no different and the Class of 2020 will come out on top.