Dear Littleton Community,
Yes, this is another COVID-19 article, but no, it will not be detailing the virus. We already know enough about the pandemic keeping doors closed, don’t we? The one clearing the shelves of Kings Soopers and Costco and Walmart? The one that butchered my senior year.
Yeah, I’m positive that everyone is familiar with the coronavirus pandemic- Haha, positive? Get it? – but I guarantee that not everyone knows how my fellow Seniors and I feel. You may think you do: boohoo we don’t have school; what a bummer. But it’s more than that. The Class of 2020 across the nation genuinely grieves the remainder of our year.
On the first day of my final semester, Mr. Escue, my American Government teacher told us that this is it: high school is ours for the taking so make the most of everything. Go to games, shows, concerts, and events, and do it without regret because in June, it won’t be ours anymore.
But it’s only March, and we lost those things anyways.
Senior, Kayleigh Krueger says, “I never pictured my Senior year going this way. There’s the potential of prom and graduation getting cancelled. There’s no Wish Week. There’s no seeing your teachers in person.”
The prospect that events like prom and graduation ceremonies might be cancelled is especially disheartening. Makenzie Tenney, 12, says, “For me, the first semester was really difficult, and I barely made it through. The only thing that kept me going was events like prom and the graduation ceremony.”
“I understand cancelling prom and whatever, but not being able to walk at graduation- [It] breaks my heart to not be able to see our class celebrating each other after all of the hardships we thought we couldn’t overcome,” says Taylor Yuan, 12.
However, it has not yet been confirmed that either of those events are officially cancelled.
Seniors, including myself, also lost their spring athletic season. It hurts Seniors to a different degree because most of us do not go on to play as collegiate athletes. High school sports is our time to athletically represent our school. It was our turn to be the captain. To be the best. And now, we may never pridefully don the Warrior uniform again.
“I’m a huge sports girl and there is absolutely none. I don’t think a lot of people understand the athlete grind. People’s senior seasons are getting taken from them, and there’s no way they can get that back. We don’t get to relive any of this, and I think that’s what hurts the most,” says Krueger.
Olivia Janicek, 12, says, “I’m depressed by it. I understand the necessity of closing the school down for the sake of lives…yet I’m sad. I feel like in less than a week, everything crumbled and fell right through our fingers. To know that Friday might have been my last day of high school ever is so saddening. I’ve looked forward to the events of my senior year for so long. I know we’ll emerge stronger, but I’m sad.”
“Sad” is such a basic emotion, yet it is true to our situation. Our hearts are heavy with the fact that our “normal” won’t return to what it was before. We will finish the pitiful remainder of our senior year and then we will head in all sorts of directions. Unlike the classes below us, we will not be walking back into those hallways. We will not be going to the Science office for an otter pop, nor will we be shredding our vocal cords during assemblies to prove that we are the champions of Arapahoe.
For some, these months were not just last moments, but they were last chances.
Ellie Olsen, 12, says, “Personally for me, what’s been getting me through this is seeing ‘going back to school’ as a light at the end of the tunnel because myself and so, so, so many others have put so much work into this year and this semester specifically. Whether it’s making varsity, being team captain, leading an event, or simply just doing something for the very last time; it was all just gone too soon. It feels like a lot of hard work has just completely vanished and disappeared.”
Yuan says, “Right now, I just want one more day- one more day to embrace our senior year, and it seems like too tall of an order.”
Lauren David, another Senior mourning her loss of opportunities, says “We will never get to play a sport as Warriors on a team, for me, it would be tennis; work on one more issue of the Herald; or unite as a community to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during Warrior Week. I love school and everyone in the Herald, and I don’t want to imagine that last Friday was our last day as Seniors, but this is slowly becoming our reality.”
And it is our reality. We understand that, we do. We understand that this is unprecedented. We understand the need for the degree of caution we are taking as a nation.
“I feel like this is a lesson to how quickly the world can change and how much value we should place on a day or even just on a conversation. I know many people are losing friends and family, and I don’t want to compare our struggles to that. I get it: the school closing. But I don’t think any of our feelings as students are invalid,” says Janicek.
That said, the ongoing pandemic drastically affects our lives as well as many, many others. Households are losing their incomes as jobs are being cut. The last time that the economy was recorded to be this low, this Senior class hadn’t even been born yet! On top of that, families are being forced to live in fear of infection as their neighbors become ill, and food shortages are now a realistic issue.
My intention is not to complain about how much this sucks for Seniors because we know that this affects every individual in our community. The degree of caution is necessary to keep our nation safe. But it cost all of us. It cost my Seniors the stories they won’t get to share when their kids become Seniors. It cost us time and work and memories.
I’m sorry, Class of 2020. You might not get to show it, but I recognize your endeavor these last four years. I was there to see your frenzies during football games and tears during tragedies, and I was there for every mundane day in between. I recognize that you rose to the front of the bleachers and as well, to the top of your team, wherever that may be. I’ve always thought that we were special. How can you be a part of “2020” and not be special? And I suppose our ability to unite through this only proves it. It is yet another obstacle that we have no other choice but to conquer. I never had the privilege of knowing all 522 kids from Arapahoe’s Class of 2020, but I am proud to be a part of it. It was my honor to pave my way alongside the Seniors of Arapahoe. Thank you for the last four years.
Editor In Chief