As my senior year is coming to an end, I just can’t help but reminisce on these last four years at my high school. Remarkably, a quarter of it was done during a pandemic.
I’ve missed many key senior year moments: football games, homecoming and prom.
But most of all, I’ve missed my peers. COVID-19 has robbed from me of my community, and those once-in-a-lifetime moments.
I did my best to virtually hang out with my friends and make things work in a tough time. But it just wasn’t the same. At first, it felt strange to talk with my six-foot-tall friend and not have to lean my head back to make eye contact. Now, I am used to it.
COVID-19 has eliminated something in all my friendships — the ability to live in the moment. As we all one by one turn 18, we have gotten busier and have less time to connect. We are now forced to plan out our virtual calls sometimes days in advance. I fear that when I start college, the frequency of even these planned calls might decrease as we focus more on our diplomas and our career paths.
Tomorrow I graduate, closing another chapter of my life. I have had many emotional transitions before, starting at new schools and moving to new towns. But this transition in particular feels different. Come next August, it is likely I will never see all my friends in the same room on a daily basis ever again.
While I’m nervous for this new chapter of my life and leaving precious moments behind, I’m excited to make new beginnings.
Unexpectedly, COVID has prepared me for this departure. While I’ll be in another state for college next fall, connecting virtually won’t be foreign to me anymore.