As a freshman, the hallways of St. Dominic are large and exciting, while the classrooms whisper of opportunity. Four years later, the school lingers with memories that will last a lifetime.
Freshman year allows you to daydream about senior year—“the best year of your life”—every day. Instead of playing sports on the freshman team on the lower fields, you wait to shine on varsity under the stadium lights. Instead of taking boring, required classes, you wait to finish off high school by goofing off in a blow-off class with your favorite teacher and friends. Instead of sitting in the mezzanine with people you are getting to know, you wait to sit in the senior section closest to the infamous cookies with your best friends.
Every year at the end of April, the underclassmen stand on the side of the hallways and watch the senior class laugh and cry as they complete their senior walkout in their college t-shirts. They like pictures on Instagram of the seniors at prom and graduation, making their last memories with the people they’ve spent almost every day with for the past four years.
Students almost set themselves up for failure by dreaming of the perfect senior year: the perfect dress and date to prom, the perfect season in your favorite sport and the perfect GPA to get into your dream college.
Seniors end the year with a guarantee that they will have the experiences they have been waiting for. That is, until the class of 2020.
No one could imagine a school year would end like this for any grade. Your last day is rushed and chaotic while all the teachers prepare for online classes. There is no nostalgic feeling or sentimental goodbyes even though you know you might never see some of your classmates ever again. It’s too soon…no one was prepared.
Of course, people try to make the best of the situation: “Senior skip day…we skipped the last two months!” The parents also try to cheer up their bummed out children: “You’ll always be remembered as THAT class.” A new tradition has even been born, with parents decorating their front doors in honor of their seniors.
However, nobody can argue that the class of 2020’s senior expectations vs. reality are extremely different. The spring athletes will never get a senior night, a first game, a last game, one more huddle with the team, team pictures or even one more practice. They lost their last week of feeling like they own the school while skipping class and walking through the halls one more time.
Even though prom and graduation are still promised, the dates keep getting pushed back. The important events feel different, even with the little drop of hope they give of stealing back some part of senior year.
We have most of our beautiful, crazy year to look back on and hold close to our hearts. But that last month, along with the most important and easy-going, fun-filled and teary-eyed week, is gone.