Graduating in a Pandemic: A Lesson in Moving On

Rehab center Vita Kazan

“Coronavirus COVID 19” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Charlotte McManus, Writer

Last year, the world stopped. Is it worth describing the events that we all remember with unyielding clarity? Probably not. I was finishing my junior year then. The year passed in a blur of death, sickness, fear and homemade bread. 

That was then. Now, I’ll be graduating in two weeks. People are getting vaccinated. Masks might be coming off for good. The world— which has moved agonizingly slowly for the past year— is speeding up. 

I spent my senior year inside. I sat in front of my computer screen and waited for life, the thing that is supposed to come during your senior year in all its glory. It didn’t. I sat. I waited. People died. The earth spun. 

I don’t mean to make this a sob story about my senior year. It’s okay! This is the best-case scenario. My family is healthy. My friends are alive. And I get to look forward to an in-person graduation, and beyond that, an in-person freshman year at college. 

Still— and I don’t know if I can put this elegantly— losing my senior year? It still sucks. 

Plus, the pace of time is so wonky, especially for seniors. For the world you’ve known (high school, Homewood, teenage-dom) to leave you in a blur of Google Meets and Zoom calls, only to come rushing back (vaccinations) the moment you have to leave it? 

C’est la vie, I guess.

I think this past year has been a good lesson in appreciating the people you have and the time you have with them, because it flies. I thought people were just joking when they said that, but it absolutely flew. Compared to the stagnancy of the last year, I’ll be flying my whole life. 

It seems I can do one of two things: cling onto the past year or let go. The latter seems more productive. Instead of holding onto the sadness of losing senior year, I’ll look forward to my college experience, and all the things a post-pandemic world might offer.

So see ya, high school. Thanks for everything.