When I wrote my blog on the impacts of Coronavirus on the college planning process last month, who could've imagined how quickly our world would change? Yet, here we are - at home (all of us), learning the world of Zoom and Google Hangouts while planning our next take-out. Wow. Just wow.
For my high school seniors who have unfinished seasons, missed milestones, and prom dresses hanging untouched in plastic, I can't begin to imagine how these holes in your story will be filled. You had a set of expectations and experiences that go along with earning your place as a senior in high school, and many of those will never be realized. There will likely be no prom or graduation ceremony. You may never see your favorite teacher again or some of those fringe friends you've taken for granted in all those classes you've ended up together in since elementary school. No prom king or class favorites or yearbook signing day. I know the full year closure is not yet official, but I think we all know that it seems to be inevitable. It's a loss, and as a former high school senior teacher, I feel your pain and your loss, but your story has not ended.
You will forever be the unique class of students who had a different twelfth chapter. You may not share the same prom stories or senior skip day as other seniors before you have, but that doesn't mean you should waste this blank page on Netflix and Fortnight. Write your story! Keep it going! Do things worth talking about and remembering. Make different kinds of memories. Have Facetime kickbacks with a group of friends. Play board games with your family. Take long walks at sunset in new places (with proper social distancing of course). But, don't think that because your senior year isn't ending as you expected that all is lost! Your story just has an unexpected twist.
For now, look forward to your freshman college orientation, even if it is virtual. Get to know your future roommate and start making memories with him/her in this crazy unifying experience of separation. Shop for your dorm essentials online with your mom, and savor these moments together even if you're feeling conflict in this confinement. Whatever you do, don't let this experience - this disappointment and interruption of your expectations as a graduating high school senior - distract you from your goals and your future.
Seniors, keep writing your story. I have a feeling it's going to be a really good one.
Cassie is a college admissions consultant with more than 25 years of experience in both education and advertising. She has helped hundreds of students navigate the often overwhelming application process and has students currently attending universities all over the country. Mrs. Cassie (as her students know her) has a passion for helping students find their way and spread their wings. She is married to her college sweetheart and has three boys who are all currently in college.
I am a wife, mom, and educator. I love learning and helping others learn. Few things are more rewarding than helping kids find their way.