For the vast majority of American high school graduating seniors in 2020, they will be the first in history to miss out on many of the “lasts,” such as last prom, last day of school, last time they see their friends in a school setting and the list goes on and on.
Centennial High seniors Kaitlyn Fehlhafer and Joel Bargen shared their viewpoints on the current coronavirus pandemic thrust on them at this time of their lives with questions posed by the Seward County Independent.
Just to start with, what are your basic thoughts on the situation? Are you able to stay positive through it all? How?
Kaitlyn: I think the whole situation really stinks for the high school seniors, especially since we have to miss out on the many “lasts,” but I am glad that we are taking precautions to prevent more people from getting sick and spreading the illness. I have kept pretty positive throughout the whole situation by making sure I keep in contact with my friends and try to make the best of the situation.
Joel: I think that this is all unfortunate timing and it stinks that all of the seniors are missing some pretty big events. I do my best to stay positive and try to distract myself from the situation by doing homework and other work around the house.
What are your thoughts on missing sports and other extracurricular seasons?
Kaitlyn: I feel bad for those who are in track and golf because their season got cut short, and for our musical. It is very unfortunate for many athletes during these times.
Joel: I have never been that big of a fan of track season, but I know that many of my friends and classmates are heartbroken. I have some very talented classmates and teammates that would have earned medals or other amazing honors and now they won’t be able to accomplish these goals. I feel for my classmates that were going to do big things this spring and hope that they are finding closure in these scary times.
What class or day-to-day school activity are you missing most?
Kaitlyn: I miss lunch. I use to sit with my friends in the commons and we would just talk and hangout which was definitely my favorite part of my school day.
Joel: Honestly, I am missing the interactions the most. I really miss seeing my teachers because they are some of my best role models. I also miss seeing my friends because as a graduating senior, I most likely won’t get to interact with them much moving forward. It’s hard to let these things go when we never got to say goodbye.
You are unlikely to have a traditional graduation ceremony. Your thoughts on missing that …
Kaitlyn: I am sad about missing graduation. Safety comes first but it is still sad knowing that the seniors will not have the traditional graduation ceremony we have watched and attended for many years.
Joel: I am a little upset about it because it is likely that it would be the last time I get to see many of my classmates. It is also sad to think that no matter when we have a graduation, not everyone will be able to make it. I know that I have one classmate who is leaving for training in the military and I don’t think he will get to make it. It’s sad to think I may not see everyone again.
Has there been something that has happened that is unique to you? Such as helping a friend or neighbor with a problem.
Kaitlyn: I have been able to really bond with my younger brother. I usually do not have the opportunity to hang out with him during the school year because of other activities like sports and clubs, but being able to play board games with him and just talk with him has really made this situation ten times better.
Joel: Not much has happened to me personally. I think that people in my neighborhood are doing a great job with social distancing, and I don’t see many of them very often. Hopefully, this all ends soon and we can get back to normal.
Any other thoughts/ideas to share?
Kaitlyn: I hope that we will get over this soon and that we will be able to celebrate all the great and deserving seniors.
Joel: I agree that this stinks for the seniors of 2020, but I also feel for all of the other people who are missing out on important things. I think that there are bigger things going on than missing graduation, like people losing jobs or getting sick. I just hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy.