Graduation

As it dominates our entire everyday life, it may seem as if there is not much left to learn about the COVID-19 virus.

However, one part of the population seems to be dejected and is facing disastrous consequences. Many in America assume high schoolers are in bliss now that summer has been extended to nearly six months with little schoolwork left to do. On the other hand, a sea of monsters awaits them at the dawn of the next school year. Though many appear oblivious to their futures, in reality, most juniors and seniors face alarming ramifications that could change the course of their futures forever.

For juniors, the spring semester is academically the most crucial time in preparation for the college journey ahead. For example, with all future ACT and SAT test dates canceled, the most widely accepted tool for college acceptance is now in a state of limbo. Summer internships,volunteering, community service initiatives, all activities that contribute to the resumes of millions of students now shuttered by the coronavirus. What may have appeared like an extended vacation has now turned into weeks of uncertainty that can lead to anxiety, fear and depression.

Part-time jobs, which would have been a natural distraction, are now unavailable or are considered “essential” meaning teenagers face the dangers of contracting the virus that has caused their schools to shut down. With their futures on hold and their years of hard work seemingly lost, motivation is another necessity in short supply. These students have been put on the backseat of life, at the mercy of the unstable driver, and must work exceptionally harder to even secure a chance of reentrance into normal life.

For high school seniors, the pain of a lost spring semester will forever be a part of their life experience. At what should be a time of jubilation, a certain misery has fallen upon these scholars. In a normal world, the last three months of high school are times for merriment and memories. Thanks to COVID-19, the door to a normal senior year has been slammed shut: graduation ceremonies have been eliminated, bonding with friends is impossible, aspirations for the next journey into college, four years of arduous work wasted.

Family and friends, looking forward with excitement to the “big day” will now have to settle for a Zoom chat, if even that. There are no valedictorians or salutatorians to commend, no scholarship announcements to celebrate. There is just an abrupt, bitter ending to high school.

The Class of 2020 will always feel as if nothing can compensate for the missing pleasures and memories made before they commence their journey into the future, whatever future that might be. Amid this godforsaken time replete with unhealthy consequences and malevolent vibrations, we must find a way to survive.

Though this time will pass, we must do everything in our power to help these students in need. Unlike their siblings and parents, these students will never have the famous high school graduation experience. We will need the lessons we have learned, the values of gratitude and appreciation that we have instilled in ourselves, and our precious relationships to get to the other side of this challenging part of our lives. As we look to the future let us remember that while we all will struggle to return to normal, for some normal will never return.

Shiv Mehta

Ravenwood High School

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