Man, those poor kids. I’ve been thinking a lot about the victims of COVID-19 who probably haven’t gotten sick or faced brutal economic hits outright, but who are suffering nonetheless. All of the students, especially seniors in high school, have had their lives altered significantly and they’ve been on my mind. A lot.
When I remember my own senior year, it was mostly positive though there were lots of stressful periods. There were college decisions and credit-defining exams and endless scholarship applications (seriously, I think I filled out about 200 applications—my algebra applications teacher still brings it up every time I see him around my hometown, 7 years later) and a long-distance relationship that I was trying to navigate. My mom was also going to grad school part time seven hours away in Santa Fe, so there was a learning curve there, too, for my dad and I to adjust. (She still managed to make it to every single softball game, though, if you can even believe it.)
It wasn’t necessarily an easy time, and is uncertain for many kiddos, so I have unlimited empathy for those seniors who are going through the regular ups and downs on top of a global pandemic. They went off on spring break and never came back. How wild and truly insane is that? Can you even imagine?
There were a few saving graces for my senior year. Fun events, things like senior pictures and yearbook designing and prom, bonding with my class (so fresh, so clean, class of 2013, lol), planning things as senior class co-president, finally having off-periods and late starts, visiting my future college, and spending too much time writing love letters were all good ways to get through it all.
The biggest one, of course, was softball. It wasn’t really a great year record-wise, especially coming off of an incredible league-champs and state-placing season, and I was deciding to hang up my cleats for good, but it was still my game. It was my sport. When Chad was off to college and I was lonely or sad or frustrated, the field was my comfort and constant and home.
If I didn’t have softball, whether my senior year or any of the other years, I would’ve been a complete and total wreck and that void would’ve followed me for the rest of my life. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it’s true—I can’t believe these kids had to give up their seasons, whether it’s track or baseball or golf. Any year, but seniors especially. I feel for them, and my heart is heavy.
So, to the class of 2020, I don’t have much to add to help your situation. I just have empathy and a strong hope that you’re able to grieve your losses healthily and make up for them somehow. I hope your schools and towns are throwing you parades, your parents are making you walk across the living room in full garb, and that you’re able to (safely) see your buddies again. You deserve better, but I hope you can see and enjoy the bright sides.
Cheers, seniors. You deserve it, and way more.