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Wake Me Up When It`20ver

We love our seniors! But a global pandemic has set the world on its head, and it's changing everything they thought they would be experiencing this year. Aidan Kunst `20 writes his feelings about how the spread of COVID-19 has already impacted and may continue to impact his senior year of high school. The artwork pictured, titled "Emergence," is a visual representation by Danielle Goebel `20 of her feelings during this time. 

Well, this sucks. The Class of 2020 came into this world during the aftermath of 9/11 in 2001, and now we will leave high school in the middle of a similarly-horrible event, one that has already claimed twice as many lives as 9/11. Along with that, we will lose out on many of the traditions that go along with graduating high school. Sure, missing a month or more of senior year pales in comparison to those that have been infected and have lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 global outbreak. That doesn’t make this any less painful for the class of 2020.

We have learned so much since we entered school all the way back in preschool. Twelve years and countless first days, lunches, and classes later, we are on the precipice of graduation. It’s exciting! But now, we will miss out on our last month of high school. I have never wanted to go to school more in my life. Though I’ve only been at Day School for two years, the class of 2020 is my family, and I just wish I could spend 40 or so more days with my brothers and sisters. 

We have already made memories and friendships that will last a lifetime throughout high school, but I remember how I felt last year during senior send-off and graduation. When the seniors stood in front of us and handed out gifts, they all looked so proud and happy. I couldn’t wait for that feeling. As they read their speeches and walked across the stage with their diplomas, I was excited for them to move on into the world.

More than anything, I was looking forward to OUR graduation ceremony. My family would be there, my teachers would tell me how proud they were of me, and I would walk across the stage and take my diploma from my dad’s hand. With the way things have gone in the past couple of weeks, it is looking more and more like this image will likely never become a reality. 

Our class will likely not have our senior prom. We may not have our senior send-offs. We might not dress up in our caps and gowns and accept our diplomas. And there is a chance we may not go back to high school. Our last day together could have been March 13th, and we didn’t even know it. 

To the class of 2020, to Cecilia, Neha, Alanna, William, Cassidy, Danielle, Lauren, Sierra, MaKiya, Evan, Michael, Drew, Matea, Bella, Griff, Danny, and Brock: we have always dreamed of making it to college and leaving high school. Just not like this. Instead of distancing (figuratively, of course), we should come together, and get through this, together. You guys are family, and no matter what happens with this virus, that will not change. We may not walk across that stage, but we are graduating together and we have our whole lives in front of us. I’m reminded of a famous quote from Notre Dame football head coach Lou Holtz, who said about the University: “For those who know Notre Dame, no explanation is required, for those who don’t, no explanation will suffice.” I think the same could be said about us. On the surface, we are just a group of 18 kids who go to school together. But to those that know us, it is clear that we are much more. We don’t always get along, but we have an unspoken bond that cannot be broken. I love you guys.

I’ve always wanted to go off to college, and I still do. I’m starting at IU in the fall and couldn’t be more excited. But I just don’t feel like I can turn the page on high school until I have gone through this last month and a half with my best friends by my side. That’s a reality many of us are still grappling with. Along with the many groups affected by the coronavirus, I’d ask everyone to keep us in your thoughts, because this truly is very difficult.