A Pandemic Ending

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A Pandemic Ending

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The memory I think of first when asked about my experience with the pandemic was my last day of school. In May of 2020, I was a high school senior (and convinced I had the worst luck). It started in mid-March with two weeks of online school, which was then followed by morning after morning of anxiously checking the news to see if the nightmare was finally over. Day after day I was met with more uncertainty and yearning for an email saying everything could return to the way it was. After weeks of being let down the day finally came, my last day of school. Twelve years of education coming to a close on a Google Hangouts call. As I saw my classmates pop up on tiny boxes on my screen I began to think.

This was the only year I wanted to savor every day. Every class, no matter how dry, was meant to be mine. I wished away three years of school just to have the days I waited for be ripped away from me. I frantically search for somewhere to place blame, someone to direct all my anger towards.

I closed my laptop, walked into the kitchen, and that was it. It was all over. No hugging friends in the hallway, thanking teachers for the impact they had, crying in the parking lot with my best friend, or struggling to open my locker one last time. At that point, the only positive I could find was the next day was a weekday and I could sleep until noon. I was told to look on the bright side, that I would be off to college in a few months and it would be a time for new experiences. Although this would be something a normal high school senior would be excited about, nothing about my class was normal. In a matter of a few weeks, we learned that none of the “fundamental” milestones of growing up were guaranteed. It was up in the air whether I would be moving halfway across the country or be confined to my childhood bedroom in August. At the time it felt like things were not over yet. That is the fall I would head back to high school and finally close that chapter of my life. But that never came. Two years later so many of us are in search of closure, feeling as though we’re imposters who are not qualified to be where we are.
May of 2020, the only way my friends and I could see each other. Socially distanced in a parking lot on the day that was supposed to be our graduation.

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This item was submitted on May 3, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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