Quarantine Thoughts from a Senior

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This is the overwhelming feeling that comes to mind if someone asks how I feel about losing the rest of my senior year. Other feelings are ones of confusion and feeling unsure of what the future holds. But the sense of being robbed still prevails. Robbed of what I’m not exactly sure, since I never got to experience what I thought I would. I’m only imagining what memories I would be having. Right now, as I sit writing out my thoughts and feelings, I could think of a hundred things I might be doing.

Everyday as I do senior homework that doesn’t seem to matter, I remember what event would be happening. I remember that this would be the weekend we present the school musical. And that next weekend would be my senior Not-So-Normal Formal that I was so excited to have. My class would be celebrating and dancing, because we finally made it through the thesis defense. We survived every challenge thrown at us (and did pretty well in my opinion). But it doesn’t feel as if we made it anywhere right now. I’ve made it to the kitchen table from my bed to stare at a computer screen and out the window. This wasn’t where I thought I’d be.

I know that when I left school that Friday, going to dinner and then to a friend’s house, none of us were at our best. We were worn down, tired of school, and, at a certain level, tired of each other. RamFam needed a break, but not one as long as this. There wasn’t a thought in our minds that we wouldn’t come back to school. That we would never drive to school late, but too excited for the future to care. We never thought that we would never again stand on the pews and sing in Latin and quietly think to ourselves that we wanted this to end, but maybe not quite so quickly.

We didn’t think about the possibility of never sitting in those portables again, counting down the minutes until classes changed and we could go. We never thought that we wouldn’t see another Spring Fest, Spring Formal, Spring Play, a last house lunch where we say goodbye, or another day where we go to Starbucks to get away together. We took for granted these last few months.

School was tiring. The traditions felt long and repetitive some mornings. Standing to sing songs in chapel? Many days we wanted nothing more than to go back to bed. We thought we were ready. We thought we wouldn’t miss it. We are ready; we have to be. I just find myself wishing we had cherished it a little more. If I was still at school, I’d probably be sighing at assignments and complaining even more than I have these last few weeks. Class of 2020 is ready, but we wish we didn’t have to be.

The world is a mess. I do not claim to know the worst of what is happening. People are dying, lives have been disrupted far worse than mine has been. Those in dangerous home situations have been forced into harmful places. Weddings have been canceled or postponed, or they went ahead with it and got arrested. College seniors aren’t getting a graduation. I don’t have the shortest stick. I know people in each of these situations. My heart breaks for them as much as it breaks for everyone in my boat. And while I understand my hardship don’t necessarily compare in magnitude to these other hardships, I will still feel my pain. I won’t say it doesn’t matter because it does. There will always be a situation worse than mine, but it does not make my pain less valid.

Everyone has lost something. Everyone has lost time and memories and experiences. I’m learning slowly to make peace with it. Truly, I’m learning, being angry doesn’t help. I just hope that we will cherish the times we have after this. Eventually we will forget and not cherish them quite so much, but we will be more aware. Nothing in life is without purpose. We are all learning and growing through this, despite not wanting to. I know I don’t want to. But oftentimes, the worst moments are the moments in which we grow up.

So here’s to #seniors2020. May we all find moments of peace and joy in this uncertain and scary time.

Hannah Rutledge

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