What the end of high school was supposed to be like seems to be just a memory to current graduating seniors.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, for precautionary reasons, schools across the nation have decided to remotely teach their students. Among those students is my sister, Francesca Deacon, a senior graduating this spring from Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio.
Francesca is an actively engaged individual within her public-school community. She feels robbed of her senior year privileges.
“I understand the need to shut schools, but I can’t help but feel like I'm missing out,” she said.
At Kings, seniors are encouraged to have fun in their last year. For previous classes, second semester usually consisted of a lighter academic load. However, even “easier” classes are more difficult when they have to be done online, Francesca said.
For many students, senior year is the last time they will ever play a competitive sport, be a part of a club or attend games and dances, all culminating with graduation. Students look forward to becoming a senior their whole high school experience, finally reaching the top of the food chain. For the class of 2020, this special time was cut short.
Since quarantine began, Francesca and her senior friends have taken to Zoom, an online video call service, to stay up-to-date on everyday life. They speak about college and the excitement of nearing what they hope is the end of this shelter-in-place existence so they can enjoy the summer months.
A concern among graduating seniors and current college students is whether campuses throughout the U.S. will resume in-person classes in the fall semester. Francesca plans to attend University of Kentucky, where she will study health sciences.
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto recently said the university plans to reopen for the fall semester, but no final decisions have been made. All freshman orientations have been switched to remote presentations.
As worry for the future of this pandemic sets in, Francesca and her friends refuse to remain anything but positive. They hope the gloom that shadowed the end of high school will lift with the quarantine before the start of college.
Katie Deacon is a junior at Miami, majoring in strategic communication and economics.