The class of 2020 speaks up on abrupt end to senior year

Kavya Balasubramanian

On Mar. 13, the Class of 2020 spent their last school day at TuHS without even knowing it. Ever since that day, many of them have gone through a flood of emotions about spending the last few months of their senior year stuck in quarantine. The following are the perspectives of three seniors on what they miss most, but also how they have learned to cope with difficult feelings in the midst of such uncertain times. 

 

Ally Smith, senior

I think that as this is something that nobody has experienced, there has been an avalanche of emotions that have come with it. When the world really started to shed light on the pandemic, I faced a lot of anger and sadness, especially as I realized that my senior year was not going to be what I had dreamed of for so many years. I felt so much anger towards what was happening, and felt as if I had been robbed of the typical senior experiences. But, then as I realized that high school was over, something I had been looking forward to for so long, I was overwhelmed with excitement that I had finally reached graduation- even if it wasn’t in the way I had expected. I flipped between being ecstatic and heartbroken day by day. There is no doubt that this is completely uncharted territory for us, and with that it is to be expected that there would be uncharted emotions as well. I think, though, that the most important part of processing something as large as this is to understand that all of the emotions you may be feeling are completely valid, and nobody should make you feel guilty for anything you may be feeling.

 

Kavya Balasubramanian, senior

I’ve always been the type of person who thrives on the comfort of structure and routine. Therefore, when the coronavirus hit, I felt like I no longer had control over anything, like everything I had ever known was suddenly being stripped away from me. I simply didn’t know what to do with all of the extra time I now had on my hands.

With time, however, I came to an unexpected conclusion. While the routine I had during school had kept me busy, I now had something else I didn’t have before – the time to focus on myself. Rather than spending my days on homework and other obligations, I now have more time for things like mindfulness, cooking and spending time with family.

When 2020 began, most of us had high expectations, including me. While it might have felt like the coronavirus shot down our high hopes, maybe we’ve actually been given an unexpected gift – the time and space to slow down, learn to appreciate peace and silence, and focus on bettering ourselves. Who knows, these times could be just what we need to build stronger bonds as a community, lend a helping hand to those in need, and acknowledge what is going right in our lives.

Maddie Hundtoft, senior

I’ve always struggled with saying no to commitments. This became especially apparent to me this year. I was balancing the IB Program with multiple positions in theater, clubs, and volunteer organizations all while trying to work, exercise, relax and spend time with loved ones before leaving for college. I was happy, but exhausted.

I try not to doubt myself, but we have all experienced an occasional breakdown where we question the choices we make. I like to give 100% to everything I do. But that grew difficult as I took on so many projects. I wondered if I should drop IB so I could apply myself more in certain classes, or drop an extracurricular. 

Fast forward to quarantine. All of us have reflected on our lives due to this circumstance. One of the phrases I’ve heard most often is “we’re not going to take life for granted after this.” That got me thinking. Do I have regrets about how I was living before quarantine? I was surprised at how quickly I realized my answer: no. Any previous doubts about my decisions dissipated.

I was fulfilled with life. That looks different for everyone, but for me, it meant pursuing all the passions I found during high school, even if that meant sacrificing an A in physics (sorry, Murray). This pandemic has proven that you never know when something or someone you love will be taken away. While I don’t think I will spread myself this thin in college, I will continue to seek relationships and hobbies that bring a gratifying life.