Class of 2020 Finishes Senior Year in Quarantine

April 23, 2020

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that all Pennsylvania schools will be closed indefinitely due to the rise of COVID-19 on Monday, March 30, 

Seniors around the state had to accept that they would never walk the halls of their high school again.

Seniors would never have imagined their final year ending at home on their chromebook.

All schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Image Courtesy of: @MorrisAnimal via Twitter

Senior Kaylah Garland describes how it felt when she found out.

 “In all honesty it kinda hit me hard when I found out the schools were closed,” said Garland “I was sitting out on my front step when I got a text from my cheer group chat, showing that they would be closing the schools, and in a way my chest just tightened up.”

One of the greatest changes of these final months at home is that  school work has followed the students.

Online learning, since its beginning a few weeks ago, has sprung a variety of responses. Senior Rachel Sparks has witnessed students handling the new curriculum they have been given in various ways.

“For some, I’ve noticed that the online work has been much harder since we don’t have the same environment and everything doesn’t seem to be clear yet.” said Sparks. “For others they find this easier, more independent, and it almost acts as a filler for something to do with all the time they have.”

When students aren’t doing school work, for some, there has become this large amount of free time. 

Some use this new found time to do their chores, straighten up, find new hobbies, but above everything else, they have been given the time to think. 

Senior Max Minear sees the change as a means for forced reflection.

Pullquote Photo

I’ve seen a lot of my friends posting and talking about how quarantine is changing them, but I don’t really think it’s changing people as much as it’s making people sit and think. We take for granted all of the wonderful things we have access to, and this is a way of opening our eyes to what we have and what we need and how what we want isn’t always the best thing.”

— Max Minear

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Photograph by @CDC via Twitter

Many students, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have lost out on the things that they were looking forward to.

 “Yes, we are all at home, we can’t see our friends, online work is definitely harder for a lot of my friends, and I and some of things we love, like sports and theatre and music and art, have been either cancelled or postponed, and it hurts, but we gotta brace through it,” said Minear. 

Several seniors have expressed their disappointment that they could not finish their school career the way they had imagined. 

“Obviously, we all knew that one day senior year would be over, and we wouldn’t be walking around Susky, but I guess we just didn’t get that closure we wanted,” said Sparks. 

Through a lot of the negativity that has become present from this crisis, students are trying to keep it positive and hopeful looking into the future.

“I feel like hopefully everything will start to get better towards the summertime, and I can go back to doing things I love to do and working,” said Garland. 

Another daily change for students is the constant need to stay updated on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether that is from sitting with the family to watch the briefing broadcast from the White House or reading countless articles. 

Some have even been finding different sides to the updates.

 “There is definitely a political side to all of this, and that’s the part that can get people angry or worked up within this situation, and that’s just not the way to go.” said Minear.

The social distancing that has become a result of COVID-19 has made a major impact on students.

Many have found the time more difficult to pass when their access to friends and other family members has been cut off.

“It’s such a negative time, and it scares me because I know a lot of my peers are getting into a very bad head space, and it’s really important to just try to see the positives,” said Sparks. “We still have Facetime and Snapchat and all these other things to keep in contact. Sure, it’s definitely not the same, but at least we have that.”

Due to the negativity and the enforcement of social distancing, some don’t take the precautions that are recommended, from not wearing face masks or gloves to going out and still trying to meet up with people. 

“I just feel like people need to take all of this more seriously, and if they did, all of this would be over quicker and so many people wouldn’t have to worry,” said Garland.

And for those who feel all alone or misunderstood in this time, Sparks recognizes the feeling.  “People need to take this seriously, wear a mask, wear gloves, keep your distance and stay home,” said Sparks. “We all sometimes forget that we are all going through it.”

It’s important hat our students take this seriously and wear protective face masks when and if they are in a public area.
Image Courtesy of @FashionweekNYC via Twiter

The large effect that this pandemic has caused within the United States has become one that is serious; something that seemed minor and far away has hit home and now people see the severity. 

“My friends and I were talking about it, and we just found the whole situation almost funny,” said Sparks. “We used to joke about it a couple months ago saying how it was blown out of proportion, and it wasn’t a big deal, and now it’s just that. It’s a big big deal, and we all are seeing that now.”

Although this is a hard time for all of us, many should be reminded of how lucky they are in their position.

Our country has been blessed with the help of so many workers who risk their lives to go to work everyday to feed our families, treat those with illness and to protect us. 

The class of 2020 has not been cursed or torn apart; the class of 2020 have been challenged, and many have been able to face that challenge. 

Senior Matteo Pesci expressed his faith that he has in the growth of his fellow peers through this experience. 

We not only lived through 9/11 at birth, but we are also dealing with this hardship as soon to be adults. We were born strong, and no matter what anyone says, I am sure we will get through this. It may hurt to see everything you’ve worked for gone. It absolutely hurts me…We may not have gotten a traditional graduation-the graduation we dreamed of getting with our lifelong friends- but nothing in this world is granted or given for free. Stay strong everyone. ”

— Mateo Pesci

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