This school year has been, without a doubt, the strangest any us have experienced. We took the AP exams in our bedrooms and attended math class in our pajamas. And yet, we still held out hope that we would get one last chance to go back to school and say goodbye to our teachers and classmates.
As I write my final article for the year, I’m thinking about the absurdity of having to drop off my textbooks at the school next week wearing a face mask. Clearly, we were wrong about just how long this pandemic would last. The group of students who have been hurt by this the most is the seniors, missing out on cornerstone traditions like prom and graduation ceremonies. As for the luckier rest of us, there’s still a sense of sadness.
Maybe it’s the incredible weirdness of not returning to school. Normally, we should be cramming for finals and watching old movies in hot classrooms while the teachers clean out their desks. But all that has gone out the window. Now what? We’re going to awkwardly say goodbye over Google Meets, and then, when the school day “ends,” we turn off our computers and sit back on the couch.
There are a couple of issues at play. It’s unsettling to end the school year this way, but perhaps more discouraging to start the summer off like this. It’s not a clean transition; the changes aren’t obvious. We were already sleeping in and not seeing our friends, and for now, the start of summer looks like it will be more of the same, just without the distraction of schoolwork. This wasn’t the school year any of us planned, and so far, it’s not shaping up to be the summer of our dreams either.
Luckily, we still have hope. There will be more summer vacations, and you can still make the most out of this one. Traditional summer plans like jobs, internships, camps, and concerts may have been canceled, but it’s not all over. Now is the time to get creative. We’re broke teenagers with years of experience coming up with alternative summer plans—there’s no one better for the job. We just have to think outside the box.
Do you miss going to the movies with your friends? See if anyone has a projector or even just a television they can plug into a garage outlet, and set up chairs in the driveway. That way, you can catch up on all your summer flicks. The CHS Chronicle has a few recommendations on some good Netflix binges if you need ideas (hint, hint: Clueless is back).
Make a list of your old summer plans and see what you can salvage by altering them. Sitting around and complaining won’t get your summer back, so it’s up to you to put a positive spin on this.
And lastly, remember that COVID-19 has impacted our lives in shocking and tragic ways we will never forget. We were not all affected on the same level, and many have been impacted very personally. Don’t be rude when someone doesn’t want to hang out, even if it’s socially distanced. You don’t know what they are going through. Don’t shrug off this pandemic to your friends and act like it was nothing when it is all over. You don’t know what they went through.
There are a million different ways this pandemic has hurt people, and many people might not share their experiences. So please be kind and be safe. Have a good summer. We all want to go back to school next year.