Graphic by Jane Bachus
Being a high school student during a pandemic is not easy. With all of the uncertainty about the near future and the frequently hectic task of remote learning, we have a lot on our plates.
We all know about how the class of 2020 unfortunately had to graduate high school in undoubtedly the most unconventional way possible. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there was no fourth quarter, no proper final goodbyes, no prom and a virtual graduation capped it all off.
I’m not going to lie, when I saw how last year ended as I was warping straight towards senior year, I held onto the slight hope I had of having a better end to my own high school career.
However, unless a miracle happens or America takes an ill-advised nose dive back into their normal ways of life, that is not going to happen. H-F has approved a hybrid schedule to take action as soon as it is safe, which is a sign of major progress, even though we. I may have elected to keep rolling with remote learning, but the fact that going back to school is now a realistic thought should give everyone a huge reason to be optimistic about the move back towards life as we once knew it, especially the class of 2022.
Look, I don’t see any logical way to have a real in-person prom three months from now and the operation of graduation is still very unclear, so my senior activities are just as jumbled up as the seniors before me, but you know what? The current juniors have a ton of time to potentially watch the pandemic slowly die down, and maybe, just maybe, they can go back to school in bigger bunches than just a fourth of the student body that elects to go back.
With Joe Biden sworn in as the U.S. President and the Democrats controlling the presidency, the Senate and the House, a definitive shift in power could potentially lead to a change of fortune for Americans in a situation that requires leaders to step up. You never know, Biden and company could push the right buttons and get us out of this pandemic sooner than you think. Only time will tell how that goes.
Assuming that Americans are more cautious of the coronavirus a year, 25,000,000 positive cases and 425,000 deaths later, we should now be in great position to make significant progress, especially with the elusive vaccines being tested and distributed. There are a lot of things that between now and when the next academic year begins in August, and that includes the return of the school atmosphere.
In addition to returning to school, high school sports are likely to get back to their regular schedules. The excitement centered around H-F sports events, especially the football and basketball games, is paramount to the students’ experiences. A couple thousand people probably won’t be packed in the stands cheering on the Vikings, but they’ll just be happy to be back.
And even if this pandemic is still raging on mightily through the late summer, I think we can make enough progress in the next 15 months to have a surefire in-person graduation and maybe squeeze in prom safely.
The class of 2022 is the first high school class in line to get a senior year that is at least remotely normal; pun intended. It will take a ton of responsibility, resilience and patience, but with a chance to go back to living their normal lives while still in high school, they have to push through. The tunnel of this pandemic may be dark right now, but there is certainly light at the end of it.