So, maybe the end of our senior year isn’t going quite as planned.
We imagined stress-free school days spent barbecuing in the quad or driving to Starbucks in someone’s old Jeep, blasting 2000s music. We pictured a glamorous prom with whimsical decorations and a wild pool party on senior skip day. We even reminisced on old end-of-year Globe traditions, the ones we’ve watched three other classes partake in, but never quite expected to reach ourselves. We saw ourselves walking across the stage at graduation, shaking Dr. Gutchewsky’s hand and receiving our diploma. Watching the caps rain down around us as the class of 2020. These are all things that we probably won’t get the chance to experience, and that’s hard.
But we also have to maintain perspective. We have to remember that although it hurts to not see our friends every day and experience the senior year we had planned, staying healthy is more important. There are so many members of the Clayton community whose well-being and lives are at risk because of COVID-19. This period of our lives is undeniably different than anything we’ve experienced before. That doesn’t mean that we can’t try to embrace the positive aspects of it.
Take advantage of this time. Learn how to paint or draw or knit. Cook a three course dinner for your sister. Spend time with your family before you go off to school in the fall. Don’t look at the quarantine as a form of house arrest, but rather as a way for you to focus on yourself. Make sure you’re staying active, but remember it’s okay if you watch 5 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy one night. Stay healthy, but forgive yourself if you gorge on chocolate. Keep up with friends; just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean you can’t FaceTime or Zoom or play video games together.
These interactions can help us end the year on a strong foot. For many students, it isn’t the glitzy celebrations or formal events that make what may be an abrupt end to their high school career so hurtful. It’s those final coveted days of senior year, spent enjoying a familiar routine without any anxiety or pressures. It’s the comfort of seeing good friends and reflecting on the close bonds that have been formed with certain teachers. It’s the small moments; walking from history to science, enjoying lunch with friends in the quad, listening to Ms. Roz over the intercom. The moments we thought we’d experience again.
And who knows, maybe when this is all over, the class of 2020 will throw an impromptu summer prom, or drive together to Starbucks in someone’s old Jeep. One missing quarter can’t take away the value of the bonds that we’ve formed. Some of us have known each other since kindergarten and watched each other grow up. The relationships that we have are special.
We are so thankful for the time we were able to have in this building with these people. Clayton is an amazing community to be a part of, and that true passion that its staff embodies is even more evident during this time. We’ve received countless emails from teachers checking in on us and carrying on their love of teaching despite the quarantine. We’ve gotten birthday messages from classmates and seen uplifting Instagram posts of Dr. Doherty working from home. Though it may seem heavy-handed, this experience has shown us that Clayton isn’t just a school; it’s also a support network.
For both of us, the Globe has been one of the most rewarding elements of high school. It is through this platform that we’ve been able to reach out to our community, grow as people and meet our best friends. To Mrs. Sucher-O’Grady, our fellow Globies, those we’ve interviewed over the past four years, our readers: we couldn’t have done it without you.
Keep your heads up, seniors. We’re not quite done yet.