Senior year is the culmination of 13 years of hard work and dedication. It’s supposed to be a time of celebration, a time to say goodbye to your old life and hello to new adventures and opportunities.
However, the outbreak of the coronavirus and Governor Greg Abbott’s orders have caused school to be postponed until at least May 4.
“I want the seniors to know that our goal is for all of their normal end of year activities to continue,” Principal John King said. “We may have to be flexible and adjust, but we will do everything in our power to make these things happen as planned.”
Although the coronavirus has impacted everyone on campus, it has affected the senior class most of all.
“Each year, the senior class looks forward to the last quarter of their senior year: grades are frozen for class ranking purposes, UIL events are headed toward state championships, prom is just around the corner, and the finish line (educationally speaking) is in sight,” King said. “The Coronavirus has definitely put a damper on things and has caused uncertainty for our seniors. Everything that was once so clear and close to happening seems unclear now.”
In addition to all of the possible cancelations, seniors have not been able to find comfort with their peers due to social distancing.
“Normally, most people would be ecstatic at the prospect of missing school for a month or more,” senior Elizabeth West said. “But instead, this period spent in isolation to lessen the effects of a pandemic has felt like anything but a break. These next few months which were supposed to be one of the best times of our lives are instead full of panic, chaos, and loneliness.”
To many students, high school feels incomplete without all of the “lasts” of senior year.
“The coronavirus has completely changed what I’ve been working for over these last 12 years,” an anonymous senior said. “I won’t have my last day and my last chance to say goodbye and thank you to all my teachers and friends who have helped me these past four years.”
The virus also has impacted students’ lives outside of the social aspect.
“TMSCA’s cancellation prevented me and other seniors from getting scholarship money,” senior Ryan Ross said. “Graduation may not even happen which, to me, would undermine the many years of studying we’ve dedicated.”
The final week of senior year is one filled with bittersweet moments that the class of 2020 may not get to experience.
“Most of us have been walking down the same halls for six years now,” another anonymous senior said. “Seeing all the seniors before us walking down the halls with their families, getting a rose at the rose ceremony, and then seeing them graduate. Throughout the six years I’ve been here I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to walk down the halls for the very last time and to walk on the stage at graduation, screaming and clapping for all my friends as they get their turn to walk down the stage but at the moment all of that is a blur.”
Besides missing out on the final weeks of their last year of high school, students also have to deal with the fear and chaos the virus brings in its wake.
“I think the fear of what comes next is more disheartening and difficult to grapple with than anything,” senior Tatum Earp said. “So many rumors are spread through the media about what the next steps could be—government sanctioned quarantine and the continued downward spiral of the economy. I think we’re all definitely saddened by the possibility of not going to prom or walking across the stage at graduation, but more than that, I think we’re afraid for our families and the wild world we’re about to enter.”