Being a senior is something that most people look forward to in their high school careers. Sadly, because of the circumstances currently going on in the world right now, many people including myself have been seemingly stripped of the opportunity to have the senior experience. From not being able to hang out and make memories with friends, missing out on pivotal moments for us and our families like senior prom and just having the routine of school in our lives even though sometimes we may not like it. This is my experience being a senior during a global pandemic and I hope this can help high schoolers in my position know that things may stink right now but good things come to those who wait.
I think all seniors can agree with me when I say that I have been through every single emotion since self-isolation started. For me, it started as anger at the fact that I was going to have to deal with not seeing my friends every day, and you can try to bring a sense of normality by knowing that you have to take virtual classes and video chat but the truth is we all know that is not the same. Honestly, I like many people was trying to look for someone to blame or something to blame for this to be happening to me and so many other people during the most important year of everyone’s high school career. The truth is there was no one to blame and nothing I could do about the fact that this was happening.
Next, came sadness which hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sad over the fact that I had worked so hard to make it to my senior year and was so excited to make new accomplishments with my friends around me and see them succeed as well. Yet, that was halted merely months into the new year by something that we all could not control. My reaction to this was probably very similar if not exactly like yours, I spent the first week trying desperately to understand what the heck was going on while also just being so devastated. I was mostly sad about the fact that the routine that had grown a custom to over many years just changed and I could not handle that at the time.
Then the denial stage hit me, and I just kept saying to myself, “I will wake up tomorrow and I can go back to school”. I told myself these words every single day for the next two weeks. As we all know sometimes you just need to tell yourself things in order to make the situation and ourselves feel better even if we truly know that we just must wait it out. This is a feeling that I believe everyone can relate to, the feeling of just complete frustration with the entire situation is probably something that most seniors have felt right now. It can be really upsetting if you are separated from your family during this time not being able to see them can affect a person mentally in a big way, it is also upsetting to know these big and exciting events have to be postponed, reworked or even canceled in some cases. This aspect just adds another layer to the already horrible dumpster fire of conditions.
Then, the next emotion was boredom and I did not expect it to hit so quickly. We all know there is a period of time where being home is kind of relaxing and refreshing but when you are home for an extended period of time you start to want and need human interaction with people that are not in isolation with you and I think we all can come to an agreement on that. We all soon come to a point during this crazy time where we have done everything to entertain ourselves.
From watching hours of Netflix, reading books, playing games on your phone, and getting work done. All of us by now have given into the monotony of our everyday schedules. This situation seems to make the anti-social want to be social and lets us know to be more grateful for their friends and family. We begin to miss simple things like hugs and cracking jokes with the people we cannot be around right now and that hurts. Just know that you are in the same boat as me and the rest of the world, my advice to you is that we can get through this sucky state of our reality and you will become better because of it.
The final emotion that I have felt is optimism because through all of the pain that everyone has felt caused by this unpredictable circumstance, the only thing a person can be at this time is hopeful and understand that we have no control over this. Even if that is not what we currently want to hear. I believe that some of the best things can come from the situations we cannot directly influence. Just think about how many things you have done since you now have the time and it does not have to be big, it can be something as basic as cleaning, trying a new recipe, finding a new hobby or skill. You can even pick up any old projects that you probably could not fit in a day before. It is also a great time to reconnect with friends that you have not spoken to in a while.
Be excited when you do get to see your friends in person again because you can tell them how you occupied yourself during self-isolation because everyone loves a good conversation. Whatever you decide to do right now, please continue to be productive even if that is just watching TV for you because it is always better to be occupied than bored. The world may be crazy at the moment but the things I know for sure is that my fellow seniors will get their prom and graduation sometime no matter what and always remember that hope surpasses sadness any day of the week. Be optimistic and think about how cool it is that we are going to be in the history books.