Senior year is supposed to be the high light of your school years. THIS is what you have worked hard for 12 years of school to reach. It’s supposed to be a year of celebrations, parties, and achievements. Sadly, in the face of COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, none of this may happen for millions of high school seniors around the country.
My son is one of those seniors.
As I write this my son is out of school, not for spring break, but due to concerns related to COVID-19. Next week would be his normal spring break, so, he’s now out of school for two weeks… or more. Already some of his teachers have reached out to him with work to help him stay up to date. The school board is looking into ways to do remote learning so that students don’t fall too far behind in case this outage lasts longer than the currently planned. I’m pleased and impressed with the work that the school board is doing. Because of this work, I’m confident that my son will still graduate, maybe even on time. Maybe even on time.
But is that enough?
What started as cancelation of any events or gatherings of more than 100 people, quickly dropped to gatherings of 50 or more, and has now dropped to 10 people. While we have no way of knowing at this time how long this will last, it has already canceled or postponed many events. From proms to performing arts, to sporting events many things are being delayed and may never even happen at all.
One friend of mine has a son who is a senior. He’s a very accomplished track star with a scholarship to a great school. In the coming weeks, he was to have more events that carried the potential for more scholarships. All of those events have been canceled, and may not be rescheduled.
Another friend of mine has a daughter who is big into theater. Her upcoming musical has been canceled. It too could never be rescheduled depending on how things progress from here.
Many local schools have canceled or postponed prom. Many have canceled or postponed grad bash. Depending on how long this goes many may end up having to even cancel graduation. More than anything else, the potential cancelation of graduation hurts. For both the students and the families, the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments is something we all look forward to. My son has worked VERY hard and I’d hate for him to miss that moment.
Sure, these kids will likely still get their diploma. They will go on to college, trade school, the military, or to start their own businesses. All of this will still happen and, truth be told, 20 years from now none of this will even matter. But, right now it DOES matter.
Honestly, my heart breaks for many people affected by all this, but especially for my son and the other high school seniors.