Student View: Anger, Sadness, Reflection About Senior Year

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(Betsy Shandalov, Photographer)
In August, before social distancing was the norm, Nicole Van Stralen (orange t-shirt) and her fellow “Senior Ladies” of the Class of 2020 decorated their cars in the school parking lot, part of the traditional first day of Senior Year at Miramonte High School.

    When I first heard that Miramonte High School was closing for a couple of weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, I never imagined the closure would mark the end of my high school career.
    My last day at Miramonte, March 12, was just like any other: I drove my younger brother and two of my neighbors to school. I saw my friends before class started. I passed by the same students in hallways. I sat through my classes. And I thought nothing of it. How did I live my last day of high school without even knowing it?
    I’ve experienced so many emotions while stuck in quarantine – a weird mix of regret, sadness, happiness, contentment and nostalgia – but mostly, I feel anger.
    I’m angry at the thought of the classes below me that will finish senior year properly, angry at the classes above me that were able to graduate with no interruptions. It seems wrong that the Class of 2021 will take our spots as seniors in a couple of months when it feels like the Class of 2020 has unfinished business.
    It feels selfish to complain about my high school career being cut short when I know there are people dying every single day from the coronavirus. However, it’s hard for us seniors to get closure when those end-of-year traditions were almost in our grasp.
    My lacrosse season along with baseball, softball, swimming, boys tennis, and boys volleyball didn’t get a proper Senior Night or a proper end to our high school season. Nothing will make up for our time lost.
    I’ve tried to stay positive, but I’m struggling. I keep returning to the thought that seniors everywhere lost what was supposed to be the best part of high school.
    I often think back to what I was like freshman year. I was so eager to experience a fun and exciting high school life. Some days it feels impossible to keep my head up, when a small part of my freshman self is still inside me and wants that exciting end to high school.
    The Class of 2020 was unable to have its goodbye rally, senior ball, senior ditch day, senior pranks, post senior day, graduation and senior sunrise – activities that we have been looking forward to since the first day of our freshman year.
    One way I have found closure is by reflecting on my time spent at Miramonte. I’ve taken long walks down memory lane and vicariously relived my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. I wrote down my old class schedules, who my teachers were, which of my friends were in my classes and all of the memories I made.
    By reminiscing on the good (and bad) times at Miramonte, I was able to recognize my growth. I believe that is the biggest thing to take away from this rollercoaster of events. The Class of 2020 has grown up together and has been through so much that it’s important to recognize how much we’ve grown as individuals.
    We managed to have a modified graduation and some of the traditions that accompany the end of the year. These activities were unlike any senior activities in Miramonte’s past, which makes the Class of 2020’s high school career the most unique.

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