Vision for Class of 2020

Some perspective in the midst of senior year tragedy

Rachel Lechwar

Corona has deprived us of our senior year. All these memories we have looked forward to since freshman year, all of them have been cancelled. What did we do to deserve this? Don’t we deserve to receive something for our years of hard work?

These thoughts have flashed through every senior’s brain at once point or another. Watching the days of scheduled events pass while locked in our homes hardly feels suitable for the rush we anticipated for this time in our lives. But has senior year truly been ruined?

Many may be inclined to say yes, even though there is nothing we can do about it anymore. But, I think it is all a matter of perspective. Though we may never have our gradbash or prom or musical or even graduation, we are not the first to experience a life-shifting alteration. From World Wars to internment camps to other global crises, senior years and lives have been shaken before. Our class will be memorialized in history, and don’t we want to look back and be one who remained strong and appreciated what we did have rather than longing for what we did not?

It feels difficult right now to ignore the gaping hole in our year, but if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we must never take life for granted. We assumed we would have a picture-perfect senior year just as we often assume life will grant us as many days as we want. The Class Of 2020 has learned that is far from the truth. 

It took me a few days to get over the impact of this virus and the damage it left on my hopes for senior year. Now, I’m learning to enjoy the added free time to spend time with my family, read, write and slow down a bit. As seniors, it feels like we are always looking ahead at what our futures may hold, but sometimes, it is nice to simply exist in the present. We could see it as an endless stretch of boredom and lack of social interaction, or we could see it as a chance to reflect. We are lucky to live in a digital age in which friends may be a FaceTime call away.

Ultimately, we must remember that COVID-19 is bigger than just us. It is affecting more than just us. The world is united in this fight against this disease, and we should be too. The rising death tolls are enough to wash a wave of anxiety over our heads, but it allows us to realize the scope of this issue and the precious value of life. COVID-19 has stolen thousands of lives, but it cannot take away our perspective if we refuse to let the depression control us.

This is not to say we should ignore the sadness. We are justified in mourning the loss of all these events. We deserve to feel the pain, but it becomes unhealthy when we simply sit in it. It feels like the stages of grief, and some of us have shifted from shock to sadness to numbness. Let us continue into acceptance, and let us realize that we will all overcome this together. Everyone in the world is feeling some degree of the same pain, anxiety, depression. Once we look outside ourselves and see this, we will realize that it was always bigger than just our senior year.