The Hurdle in Our Victory Lap

Second semester senior year was supposed to be the class of 2020’s victory lap—our victory lap for all of our successes and failures, the lifelong relationships we’ve made, the hard work we’ve dedicated to our classes and all the amazing memories we will remember for the rest of our lives. It was the time we would get to triumph in our victories through celebratory traditions such as prank day and skip day as the seniors before us had.

Just as we had begun our victory lap with full force, we were immediately halted by a hurdle that no one had seen coming: COVID-19. We were all forced into the cruel waiting game of uncertainty. No one knew what was going to happen—when the pandemic would recede or how we would all heal. 

When school closed on March 13, I was disappointed that I might have to cancel my spring break plans, but I was heartbroken over the possibility of losing my final moments as a member of the class of 2020. I may never again spend whimsical moments in the library with my friends studying, may never again rush to Pete’s during a 35-minute lunch break, may never again shake Russell’s hand before walking through the GDS doors in the morning and may never again feel the energy of the 128 classmates who have lifted me through a chaotic but beautiful four years of my life. 

To the class of 2020, I understand the grief and stress felt during these uncertain times. You are not alone. And while we must acknowledge that we are all incredibly lucky to be safe and supported, your feelings are valid. You all have been a great class to walk through the turmoil and excitement of high school with, and while I would be honored to walk across a graduation stage alongside each of you, the time we miss does not define our journey together. 

As we look back on high school, let’s remember our crazy freshman lock-in, the spirited flag football games, the amazing varsity seasons and theater productions and the iconic grade-wide pillow fight we started our senior year. I will carry the memories of all the hilarious moments on the tennis bus, the first every Holi festival, eating Andy’s famous banana bread with my advisory, receiving oreos from Sue during APUSH, the exciting neuro robot experiments, winning our first softball ISL banner since 1990, the surprise petting zoo on community day two years ago and the comical moments in the forum that made me laugh everyday without fail since my first day freshman year. 

Let’s not dwell in the disappointment of losing our last four months, but be grateful for the community we have created in the last four years. Our bonds will remain strong during these tough times as they have for the last four years, and I am confident in the strength we hold as individuals and as a community to get through this battle together. I will carry all the lessons I have learned, experiences I have had and friendships I have made as my victory, as we bravely embark on our lives beyond high school. But I will never forget the feeling of joy and belonging that I felt as a hopper.

Anjali Bose ‘20