By Mary Madelyn Broom
Before I start, I want to make it clear that this is not another article about the Coronavirus, but given the global situation, I think we can all agree that this pause in the world has given us time to reflect. For me, as a member of the Class of 2020, this time has allowed me to be thankful for my classmates and all of the memories we have made as seniors.
This time has also made me consider on all the things that I have yet to experience. Senior year is meant to be the best times of high school, and the years of work are all supposed to pay off in the second semester. We look forward to being able to relax and enjoy the perks like prom, Grad Bash, and the New York trip. As an Oak Hall “lifer” (a student who has attended Oak Hall since kindergarten through graduation), I was raised looking forward to the ability to reap the benefits of senior year. Of course, given the situation, I am extremely thankful that we are all staying safe. Yet without these final milestone moments of senior year, many of us are left somewhat incomplete. At least for myself, it seems that way.
As for how we are handling quarantine so far, most of us are trying to fill the spare time considering many of our classes are winding down. I’m sure my classmates will agree, but I have never spent more time inside, doing nothing. Don’t even get me started on my screen time, most of which is spent on TikTok. Something about us being told to stay inside makes us all long to go back to school. Who knew? A simple global pandemic and a little quarantine is the magic cure for senioritis.
Our generation seems to be defined by how we react and respond to catastrophic situations. Of course we are! We are remembered as those who entered the world in the midst of 9/11 and now becoming adults during this global crisis. At this point, there is no more “normal”. Even when this is all over and done, the world will be so changed that we will redefine what normal is. With nothing else to do currently, we are only left with questions. How will this change the way we learn? Of course, as students, we have adapted to online learning. But how will we go back to school? As a senior, I am concerned about what this means for those of us going into college in the fall. In four months, I can’t expect that everything will just go back to how life was a few months ago. At this point there is no going back to how it all was pre-coronavirus, but what is going to happen after? How are we as a generation going to shape what happens next? We can’t control the outcome of the situation, but we can control our outlook, and that will define us.
To my fellow seniors: I can’t agree more that this is a trying time for us. It feels as if the rest of our high school career has been pulled out from under us. We all want to make memories the last few weeks. Unfortunately, it seems that, as a class, it’s going to be different for us. I am extremely grateful for the times we have had together, and I wish there were more. I hope to walk across the stage with all of you on May 22.
To Oak Hall students: If anything, this is a wakeup call to enjoy every day and savor every memory.
Thank you, Oak Hall, for everything these last 15 years.