The End of Senior Year: Much Sooner Than We Hoped


For every high school senior, the last few months of school are bittersweet. We are all excited to leave, to start our own adventure doing what we love, but none of us are ready to say goodbye to the memories we made within the halls. We are all ready to experience the final milestones every graduate speaks so fondly of. That senior prom with the perfect dress and perfect date. That final day. Walking the halls to the clapping of the students and staff. Walking across that stage and receiving the diploma we worked for all our lives. Making it to the end. Saying goodbye.

However, as the global pandemic known as COVID-19 takes over, those dreams seem farther out of reach than ever before. Many seniors fear that the Friday following Governor Mike DeWine’s statement to close the schools may be their last time within the halls that we have called home for the last four years. As the governor continues to close businesses and other establishments, the hopes for a senior prom, a return to school, and even graduation, seem to fall through the fingers of awaiting seniors like grains of sand.

myself an Emily Pfahl at National Honor Society event

To the senior class, this in not an extended spring break. To us this is a waste of the last precious moments of high school. As we sit in our homes listening to the government cancel more and more events – setting guidelines that once seemed unimaginable – each and every senior hopes that that day will not be the day it is official. That they cancel something we have worked with every fiber of our being to make happen.  While this announcement seems more likely as every day goes by, the hope the class of 2020 holds remains strong.

Throughout the last thirteen years of our lives, we have worked diligently without fail to make it to where we are today. We have studied hard and pushed ourselves to be the best that we could be. We have stayed up late into the night working on that paper that was due the next morning. We have spent hours emailing teachers back and forth to understand what is happening in the class. We have spent countless hours memorizing lines for the play, learning the dances for completions, and working with team mates in hopes to get that big win. We have worked our hearts out for something that is being stripped from us in the last moments of our high school career.

2019-20 Senior Night half-time show

A fellow senior on YouTube known as TheyCallMeCrafty captures this internal pain perfectly. His recent video titled,  Dear Class of 2020, explains how our senior year was supposed to go. He discusses what many seniors loved experiencing through high school, and how those things may not be a reality anymore. He explains the feelings that many of us felt as we were watching the seniors before us more on to bigger, better things. Watching them go to new and extraordinary places. Watching them walk across the stage. Watching them get to say goodbye before moving on.

For the seniors of 2020, this abrupt absence is hard to handle and it is okay to not be okay. Nothing feels worse than getting the finish line and seeing those last mile stones just steps away only to feel the ground pulled from under your feet. Nothing feels worse than cancelling that senior spring break trip that you’ve been looking forward to for months, or having to look at the prom outfit you were so excited to wear because you finally asked that special person and know that it will never serve its purpose. Nothing hurts more than realizing that the likelihood of getting to walk down the halls saying goodbye to our favorite teachers and our friends is slipping away as the virus spreads. The truth is we may never get the ability to walk across that stage and receive the diploma we have worked so hard for.

Mr. Horn during Halloween and Mrs. Moore with her Witcher collection.

We know that this is a deadly pandemic that is causing many issues throughout the world, however, we have also spent our whole lives working towards a goal that seems to be falling farther from our grasp each and every day. We are sad. We are grieving. We are struggling to wrap our minds around never getting a real chance to say goodbye to the people we have grown so close to before we leave for college. We are trying to cope with the fact that we may never get a chance to walk across the stage. We may never get to shake the hands of the staff that has pushed us to do our best – to follow our dreams – for the last four years. We may never get to have the memory of saying that we made it as we walk across the stage on a field that represents home for us. We may never get to say a proper goodbye to the halls that hold some of the most important moments of our lives. So please, if you have a senior in your life, give them a hug. Tell them that they are important. That the work they have done is worth it. Remind them that they are loved. That they are not alone. Stay strong class of 2020. We are in this together and we will not let this break us. You are not alone.