The Class Of 2020 Is Sharing How They Feel Right Now About Their Senior Year
"The fear of getting a job post-graduation is very real."
Here are 15 things they want the world to know:
1. "I hate school — probably more than a lot of people — and even I want them to let us go back. These last few months are the last times that I’ll be able to see and spend time with my friends. I want to have a senior prom, conduct a piece at my senior concert, and, above all, graduate on time. Now, I have no clue if any of that will happen. Most of my friends are going to different colleges than me and I also have a lot of friends who are younger than me that I was wanting to spend as much time with as possible."
2. "I’m a nursing student who has an amazing RN job offer and a lease signed for after graduation that would be unaffordable without the money from being a nurse. My fellow nursing students and I just found out there's a possibility that we won't graduate on time as clinical sites are closing to students. Due to nursing laws, we cannot graduate without a set amount of hours. I felt like the life that I had worked so hard to stabilize was suddenly crumbling before my eyes and I was powerless."
3. "The anxiety of not knowing what’s going to happen is the worst. This is my last year of high school and I probably, unknowingly, already had my last day of it."
4. "High school hasn’t always been the easiest ride for me. I’ve been ready for my senior year to be over since day one — but not like this. I don’t get to enjoy the final moments of high school, like signing yearbooks or having the senior parade. I have to say goodbye to everyone and everything I’ve known through a text message. It’s terrible. I’m ready to graduate, but I wanted it to be memorable."
5. "As an international student, I am the first person in my family to attend college in America. My parents could barely afford to scrape together the money to come to graduation. I was so proud to graduate with multiple honors and show my family that the time, money, and energy we invested in studying in America really did mean something."
"I wanted my college mentors and professors who cared about me to see me walk the stage. More than anything, I wanted to walk the stage for myself. I did something, I achieved something, and I was going to become someone. I know I’m still technically graduating, but now it all feels like a lie."
6. "I’m class president, and I’m supposed to be the voice of reason. But all I can say is this sucks. We are losing 12 years worth of work to a virus. I know high school isn’t supposed to be that important in the grand scheme of things, but right now, in this moment, for seniors whose futures are unsure, it’s everything. And now, we just got that taken away from us."
7. "A lot of people have been making fun of or condemning us for complaining and being upset about 'trivial' things when there are people literally dying. We understand that the seriousness of this pandemic outweighs our concerns about school and senior events, but at the same time, we should be allowed to grieve what we're missing out on."
"We've been watching the classes above us enjoy their proms and all-night parties for years and now that it's finally here, it's taken from us just weeks away. For athletes, many of them were depending on scholarships that they'd hopefully earn during this last season to pay for college, and for others this would be their last year playing the sport they love. We're especially sad the we never got to say goodbye."
8. "I'm set to graduate with my PhD in May. It feels selfish to focus on how crushed I am, but I'm heartbroken. Thinking about celebrating with my family and friends after a 10-year journey has been a huge motivator for me and it's surreal to realize that in all likelihood it will not be happening. I know I'm really lucky to have had the chance to pursue my dream. But I'm giving myself permission to be sad and grieve the loss of these memories."
9. "In the big picture of everything that’s happening, it feels stupid of me to worry about my senior year. But thinking about missing all those big moments before college and adulthood has made everything so much worse. Especially when family members pity-call to say they feel bad for you..."
10. "It’s made me feel really bitter. Our color guard world championships and state championships got canceled within two days of each other. I’ll never get back those memories with my team due to coronavirus. Now I’m worried that AP tests will be canceled and I won’t be able to get college credit and avoid student loans. My place of work shut down and I can’t file for unemployment because I’m still a dependent. How am I going to save for college? I thought that 2020 would be the year that I actually made something of my life, but now I’m so stressed out because of this pandemic."
11. "For me, it’s not even a matter of getting to celebrate my accomplishments. My program requires us to do hospital clinical rotations. This is not something that can be made up online or in an expedited way. Rather, my classmates and myself have to wait months until we can complete our clinical. This is a huge setback when most of us were anticipating graduating in May and won’t be able to do so until at least August."
12. "This is the last year I will ever play softball again and I'm not even sure if I will have a season. I, along with many other senior athletes, have looked forward to this year since the first year of high school. I've looked forward to having my picture on a banner on the fence. I've waited patiently to be able to walk across the field with my mom and dad on my senior night and reminisce on the past four years of my life."
"I'm heartbroken that I might not be able to look at my team at the end of the year and say that I'm proud to have been able to play with them. The only thing I can think of is why us and why now? Why do we have to be the ones to lose everything we've been looking forward to? All I want is to have my last season."
13. "This is just such a disappointing way to end high school. I’ve busted my butt for four years to finally have a lead in the musical, and after months of rehearsing, it has been canceled. I’ve been anxiously awaiting my name going on the school marquee, but now it will never go up. I can’t see my friends, I can’t go to prom, and I won't be able to walk across the stage to get the diploma I’ve been working on for 12 years. I don’t even have words for how crushing these last couple of weeks have been."
14. "Being in my senior year of grad school and facing this strange situation has caused me to have a lot of anxiety. I’m not allowed to complete my internship at schools because public schools in my area have been closed through the end of the semester. How can I get hands-on experience if I’m stuck at home? I didn’t have an undergraduate graduation and this was one I was looking forward to."
"I’m getting my master's; it’s a big deal, a huge accomplishment. Also, the fear of getting a job post-graduation is very real. I wake up every day to more things being shut down."
15. "It makes me feel cheated. I obviously recognize that it is vital to keep people safe and healthy; however, it is frustrating that I’m missing out on experiences that I’ve looked forward to and worked towards for years. I won’t be able to complete the final season of my sport, go to prom (which I’ve been dreaming of since I was 5), and I might not be able to take the AP exams that I’ve studied so hard for. All of these things also mean that I won’t be able to spend time with my friends before they’re gone to college."
Hang in there, class of 2020! Here's an encouraging message from someone who's been in a similar situation:
"As a fresh perspective, I graduated last year after a yearlong battle with aplastic anemia. I spent the majority of my senior year in quarantine and doing online school. Since my immune system was so low, I could only communicate with my friends and classmates through social media. I just want to tell any senior struggling with the COVID-19 quarantine that it gets better! It was super hard at first getting used to the [solitude], and I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty sad and anxious at times, but it ultimately was the best decision for my health and truly saved my life, and I am living proof that social distancing works! In the grand scheme of things, I can say that this will just be another speed bump and we're all in this together!"
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.