POV: Graduating during 2020

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POV: Graduating during 2020

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I graduated high school in the year 2020, right when Covid-19 was growing at a rapid rate, and the world was on a lockdown. March 13, 2020 was the last day of high school for me, but I didn’t know it at the time, no one did. Senior year was supposed to be me and my friends’ last year together before we all went our separate ways for college, but the only way I could see them was social distancing in a parking lot or on face time. My mental health began to plummet, I was never one to be home, I was always out of the house. Just the isolation, not seeing your closest friends, not having anywhere to go outside the house, and doing the same boring stuff every day was so frustrating because there was nothing you could do to change that because the rest of the world was doing it too and it just was how it was. I never got to go to prom, something that was supposed to be the best night in all of high school. Events that we have been looking forward to all our lives were being taken away from us, including graduation. It felt weird to be celebrating me graduating, since we weren’t even really having school. I tried to be optimistic, I mean I worked so hard for 18 years to get to this point in my life. My high school decided to do a drive-thru graduation, where I stayed in the car and was handed my diploma, not with all the teachers or friends who helped me get there, but I was grateful to have my family. I never got to shake my principal’s hand, had people cheering for me, or able to stand with my friends and throw my cap in the air. My graduation party was the following week and held outdoors, and I was excited to see close family and friends. However, 2 days before my event that I was already kind of sad about how many important people weren’t going to be there, my extended family contracted covid. My extended family was as close as my immediate family to me, my aunt was my baby-sitter growing up, and they were unable to make it. I was crushed and crying for days leading up to it and even after, it just wasn’t the same without them. It’s sad writing this, something that I spent my whole life working forward to just ripped away. It was a true test of character, adaptability, and mentality. This was the lowest point in my life, all thanks to Covid-19.

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This item was submitted on February 7, 2022 by Katie Kriznik using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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