Class of 2020’s Senior Year Robbed by COVID-19

From+left+to+right%2C+Cooper+Kitaen+%2812%29%2C+Austin+Shreeve+%2812%29%2C+and+Ian+Fu+%2812%29+celebrate+winning+Clash+of+the+Classes+in+2019+when+the+juniors+were+victorious.+The+event++is+a+competition+between+grades+and+is+looked+forward+to+all+year.+Due+to+COVID-19%2C+however%2C+it+has+been+cancelled+and+the+class+of+2020+will+not+have+a+chance+to+win+as+seniors.

Riley Goodfellow

From left to right, Cooper Kitaen (12), Austin Shreeve (12), and Ian Fu (12) celebrate winning Clash of the Classes in 2019 when the juniors were victorious. The event is a competition between grades and is looked forward to all year. Due to COVID-19, however, it has been cancelled and the class of 2020 will not have a chance to win as seniors.

By Riley Goodfellow, San Juan Hills High School

Senior year: the best year of high school. The year that all students’ hard work is rewarded and when they get to celebrate their accomplishments. 

With COVID-19 rapidly spreading, that time may never come for the class of 2020. Schools have been shut down for at least a month and California Governor Gavin Newsom further stated that schools are not likely to open for the rest of the school year

This is a hard pill for seniors to swallow. School closure means they will miss out on things they have been looking forward to for their whole lives. 

With the sudden possibility of never returning to school, many students didn’t even realize that their last day at SJHHS could have been a random Friday in the middle of March. 

There is deep fear among the class of 2020. Fear of never saying goodbye to the teachers that changed their lives, fear of not cherishing last moments with friends that went through everything together, fear of missing out on a senior prom, and the fear of receiving a high school diploma through the mail rather than at a graduation. 

Although there has been no confirmation of graduation being cancelled, even the thought of it not happening is very overwhelming for students. For some seniors, they are the first to graduate in their families and this ceremony is a huge deal. 

“I just want to be able to be by my friends and have that moment of hearing my name and walking across the stage, to see the faces of my parents and how proud they are of me and throwing my cap after hearing the words that we graduated,” said senior Audrey Ruiz. 

There are many other factors, like possibly missing out on Prom, Clash of the Classes, Grad Night, sports seasons, or Every 15 Minutes, and those losses sting because all of this is so unexpected. 

“It’s not even about going to prom. It’s about getting ready with your friends and dancing your heart out to cheesy songs like it’s your last time — because for some of us, it is,” said senior Maddie Yi. 

I wish I had that one last game, that one last team hug, that one last goal… but it’s something I could possibly never get back,”

— Hodge

For many students, there are rituals within extracurriculars that they will not experience. In choir, there is a Pops Concert which is the last concert of the year and students perform Pop style songs instead of their usual Classical style. It’s the last time everyone performs together as an ensemble. 

“This is something I’ve been looking forward to for four years,” said senior Mia Brady. 

Spring sports seasons have also been postponed. This leaves many seniors wondering if they will get to experience their Senior Night where each senior is honored and they play their last home game of high school. 

“It’s a huge let down not only for me but for those around me. The amount of support I have gotten from my family and friends, coming out to every game, working the clock, driving me to every practice as an underclassman, and supporting me every tournament. Senior Night was a time for them to walk down with me too, a time to truly acknowledge them. 7 years of lacrosse later, last week could have been the last game they watch me play. It sucks. I wish I had that one last game, that one last team hug, that one last goal… but it’s something I could possibly never get back,” said senior Lucy Hodge. 

It is also a hard time for seniors as they are receiving decisions from colleges they applied to. Students have been looking forward to getting into dream colleges for years. Being denied or waitlisted creates fear of the future as if the fear they are experiencing right now isn’t enough. 

Furthermore, college campuses have been shut down and it is stressful to think about deciding where to spend the next four years of their lives without being able to visit. 

On behalf of the class of 2020, we understand the importance of self-isolation and encourage everyone to stay home and healthy, however, it is important to acknowledge our grievances. 

Seniors are mourning several losses and they can’t even mourn together because of self-quarantine rules. It is a very unexpected and sad time for the class of 2020, one that will definitely never be forgotten.  

This story was originally published on The Express on March 20, 2020.