Here lies a condensed version of my bucket list:

  • Go skydiving
  • See the ocean
  • Travel the world
  • Walk across that stage in my high school

It was so upsetting that the last one seemed to be the most uncertain of them all.

On Jan. 9th of 2020, news of a virus in China swept the world… COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus.

I specifically remember the conversations I had at school after this news came out. “The flu is way worse.” “People are overreacting.” “It’s just in China.” All these comments seemed to flood the hallways. We were all so confident, even I was, until it hit America… and then, Indiana… and then, Bartholomew County.

I’m not sure if there is anyone in the world right now who isn’t being affected by the coronavirus. It’s scary for everyone, especially those with underlying health conditions and the elderly. This is such an unfair situation for everybody, but, and I may be biased, especially high school seniors.

The first week of August, whichever day school started, I had approximately nine months of high school left. Nine months to be a complete teenager. Now, I’ve been stripped of three of those months. Senior year is supposed to be full of friends, prom, sporting events, and parties. There should be a celebration of the last trigonometry assignment, and there should be excitement with the completion of the last economics test. Instead, we are left with online schooling and staying away from our friends.

I don’t really know if it has hit me yet- the fact that I won’t be at school again. I’ll admit, I complained and dreaded school in March, but now, I wish I was back. I wish I could go to my favorite teachers and bug them about random stuff and study trig. with my friends, but I can’t.

This coronavirus situation makes college decisions very interesting. We all worked so hard applying to college, and applying to every scholarship under the sun, only to be faced with this. It makes me very nervous to think that all colleges are closed. I think a lot of seniors are stressed about this. Some haven’t even visited any colleges yet. And, what will this make of our freshman year of college? I can’t imagine that it will be a smooth transition from online school to in-person for students, professors, and administrators alike. Will seniors even get to go to college in person in the fall? Will it be more months of Zoom meetings and digital learning?

Everything is so uncertain right now. It's terrifying. I’ve been closely reviewing the news daily, and I continue to read stories about high school and college students going through the same situation as me. I’ve worked my entire life, day and night, doing endless projects and writing a myriad of papers to get to my graduation. I’ve dreamt of walking across that stage to get my diploma with all my friends, family, and teachers in the audience. Now, the dream is altered.

I think we can all agree 2020 has not been what we expected. A few months ago, who would’ve imagined we would all be transitioning from self-quarantine right now? These times are so unpredictable and frightening and constitute an obvious reason for anxiety. While I am angry about losing valuable time during my senior year, I believe it’s important to have faith during these trying times, to support one another, and to think of the safety of others. I believe we will get past this.