What Is Lost and What Is Gained: Losing My Final Quarter at GDS to COVID-19

Any time before March 8, if you had asked me what in the world had the potential to derail my senior year, a pandemic and social distancing would’ve been my last guesses, rather they wouldn’t have crossed my mind at all. 

For four years, the end of senior year had lingered in the back of my mind. A time to throw caution to the wind and take risks in the classroom and bond with people I might never see again. As the time grew closer, thoughts of prom and Community Day seeped in. Moments to celebrate with all of my class, close friends and acquaintances and people I knew little to nothing about alike. 

When I think back on my 3.75 years at GDS, I remember the little things. Groggy mornings on the crew bus back from Georgetown. Lazy free periods with my friends on those huge dirty blue chairs. Friday long lunches. Running into someone in the hallway and catching up while on a bathroom break from class. Those things I miss dearly. People, I miss dearly. 

The hardest part of this pandemic has been the loss of life. It is devastating and scary to see how many people are dying. The biggest loss to my personal life has been not seeing my friends. I was expecting this spring to tie things in a bow, help me reconnect with those I had lost connection with and deepen my relationships I felt confident about. When school closed, my fears of losing my friends to the wind surrounded me, frightened me. But I think, I hope, I know we can last. I am connected to these people; a force ties me to them. They are people that will never leave me. Well, we will all leave, but magically, we will never disconnect. 

Of course, spending this last quarter inside my house to help flatten the curve is necessary.  But these were never questions I expected to ponder: How would my life look like right now if there weren’t a pandemic going on? What am I (and the rest of my classmates) missing out on? How can I be sad about missing my senior year when people are dying?  Alas, that is what life has come to. I’m deeply sad about some of the things I will miss, but, in reality, I’m much sadder that this is the end of my GDS experience, that I will never roam the halls as a student again. I knew it was going to end, but I expected a couple of more months. 

Talia Rodriguez ’20