After hearing that Chicago Public Schools were closing until March 31st due to the coronavirus, my father sat me down for a serious conversation. He started by saying, “We need to talk,” so you know I was stressed. I had no idea what he was about to throw at me and I was slightly scared for my life, because those words never mean something good. Instead, what he told me just made me incredibly sad: “You need to prepare yourself for the possibility that you’re never going back to school.” For a freshman, sophomore, or junior this may have been good news, but as a senior nearing the end of my high school career, it really hurt.
Seniors have luncheon, prom, graduation, and grad night to look forward to, but Ms. Rona is making it extremely hard for us to believe all of this stuff will still happen. Although we go back to school March 31st, and technically have time for all these events, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has advised that there shouldn’t be gatherings of 10 people or more for the next eight weeks. We only had around seven weeks of school left, so it’s pretty obvious that our year may be cancelled. There’s a slither of hope, but the way the world is going on lockdown makes it seem like this is going to last a little longer than we think.
Remaining sports seasons were canceled last week too, which means that many seniors didn’t even have their final season. At the time, they didn’t realize that it was their last time on that court, field, or team as a high school athlete. Seniors that were on their way to win state championships in basketball and compete for national titles aren’t able to have that opportunity anymore.
“It’s all bizarre. It’s something I would have never imagined happening,” said DJ Steward, Whitney M. Young High School’s star shooting guard. “It definitely hurts that everything was cancelled… the state playoff, the McDonald’s game, and the Jordan Brand game. But it’s all in God’s plan.”
The panic also affected performing arts and academic teams like theater companies and debate. Seniors were preparing and training all year for these big extracurriculars and it was simply taken away from them.
It’s unfair all around, but coronavirus is extremely unfair for seniors. Yes, all of these cancellations are necessary and precautionary, but it still sucks for us. We already had limited time with our friends and families before this next chapter in our lives, but I can speak for every high school senior and say that we never thought it would end this early. The coronavirus is causing us to lose that sense of pride that goes with finally completing high school. We are missing out on our “lasts” that we reluctantly looked forward to all year like the last time we were walking into our high school building or competing with our teams. Senior year is supposed to be a fast blur of unforgettable memories, and ironically we still got that this year, because in the future we can all reminisce and say our senior year was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
By Kyla Hubbard, Senior, Whitney M Young Magnet High School