A diary of the class of 2020

Gabby Houde, Copy Editor

Monday was my last day of high school for the next two weeks. It could potentially have been my last day of high school in general. Now I sit here writing this article, wondering what this means for my senior year. 

Will I be able to walk across the stage for graduation? Will I be getting my diploma on Skype like we’ve all been joking about? Will there be a prom? A senior trip? Will I get to witness my friends’ last year of their sport or activity? At this point, no one knows the answer to those questions. 

All high school kids talk about how much they hate school. How much they wish they didn’t have to go. But now, with the prospect of never being able to step foot in my high school as a senior again, I’m terrified. I’ve never wanted to go to school more in my life. 

Sure, sometimes it sucks. To get up early, to deal with all of those people every day. But it’s also where I hang out with my friends, make memories I’ll never forget, and live my life as a teenage girl. It’s where I met some of my closest friends, bonded with some of my favorite teachers, and experienced so many different things. 

Joking with my friends at football games, singing with them at the top of our lungs at dances, trying to talk across the room because our teacher separated us for being too loud… The last thing I want to do is have to give those things up during what is supposed to be the most important part of my senior year. Not being able to spend the last few months at school with the people I love doing the things that bring us joy makes me sick to my stomach. 

Some of our favorite memories came from high school. Not just at Joliet West. All seniors are coming together now, with one thought in mind. That we don’t want Monday to have been our last day of high school. 

Angelyse Love, a Joliet West senior, says that her favorite memory is about “finishing my CNA course and going out to breakfast with all of my friends after.” Jessica Breausche, a Joliet Central senior, says her favorite memory is from the first football game their spirit club attended. “We won our last football game and we got to run on to the field to celebrate,” she says. Lincoln-Way West senior Reese Scroggins says, “My favorite memory is from when I lost my keys in the school. I had to leave for Florida the next day, so I ran around the school trying to find them. I ended up having to leave without them and buying a new set. When I came back that following Monday, I found out that they were in a bag at school that I donated all along.”

We could go on and on. These memories are a part of us. And we were supposed to be able to make more of them. We were supposed to go to prom together, to sports games and to our graduation. No one knows if we will get any of that. 

A Joliet Central senior, Julianna Murray, says that the memory she’ll regret not having the most if it gets canceled is prom. “I’ve been looking forward to prom since freshman year,” she says. “Prom is a once in a lifetime milestone that every high school girl looks forward to for years. The idea of that getting ripped away makes me so sad.” 

“The idea of not being able to step foot on the softball field again and have a successful season is so sad,” says Ariana Rodriguez, a Joliet West senior. “I’ve played since freshman year, excited for my senior night to finally come. And now it might not even happen.”

Jaxon Rees, a Joliet West senior, says, “Being a senior, I was absolutely ecstatic when I received a lead role in the musical. I took months off of work to make it to rehearsals and stayed at school until almost 9 pm some nights, only for it to get canceled just hours before curtain. It truly was devastating.” He continues on to talk about how “the cast as a whole was vastly upset, but us seniors were hit harder than the rest. Still, with little knowledge about when school will resume, my only wish is that the underclassmen do not experience these unfortunate circumstances while completing their high school education.”

The class of 2020 was robbed. Robbed of these memories that we deserve to have. We were born during 9/11, and will now graduate during the pandemic if we graduate at all. What’s next?

I know more important things are happening right now. I know there is a pandemic going on, and that a lot of people are in danger because of it. But please, don’t invalidate what the kids are going through right now. We have been robbed of our senior year. Of our last softball season, our last prom, our last musical, our graduation. Maybe that isn’t important to you, but it’s important to us. Invalidating how we feel isn’t helping. 

Please, if you have a loved one, hug them tight today. I think everyone is hurting during this time. Now more than ever, we must come together and show support. Show that we are united and that we can get through this pandemic. In 6 months from now, or even 6 years, how are you going to look back on this time? With contempt? With pride because of how you handled yourself?

Be kind to others. Help out in any way you can. And for seniors, don’t give up. There’s still a chance for our senior year. If prom gets canceled, we’ll throw our own. Most of the sports players will be continuing their careers in college, so your sport is not over. We WILL graduate. We will make summer 2020 OUR summer. I promise you that. 

We are in this together. 

Always and forever, 

The Class of 2020