Moving on Without Ever Leaving: Saying Goodbye to Senior Year

I think anyone would agree—this is not how we expected the spring of 2020 to look. It has been weird, confusing and disorienting and, in some cases, has brought out our most authentic selves in dealing with a new normal. 

As a student, I am fortunate enough to not worry about losing my job, and as a young person, I am fortunate enough to not be as statistically likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19. Regardless of how lucky or privileged I may truly be, I have felt entirely unstable and unanchored. I’ve been telling everyone I am “hanging in there,” in order to calm my own feelings about how we may not set foot in the GDS building for the foreseeable future or even have our normal senior year rituals over the summer. I’ll be honest… life at home is weird and often boring and I just can’t wait to move out (fingers crossed that time comes in August). 

At the beginning of March, I drew out a calendar for the remainder of our school year and counted the days, making sure to subtract our “fun days” like Community Day or Skip Day—even our Senior Prank Day. The number was in the low thirties. On March 10, when we were all asked to not show up for class because the high school was in need of a full-school disinfectant clean-up due to a single positive COVID case in our community, it was unimaginable that this absence would be our lives through the remainder of the year. 

A few days later, when we were told that school would be closed through Spring Break, I recall having brief discussions about how long the lockdown would be. I vividly recall how the most frequent answer was “we’ll be back sometime in April probably.” Just like the rest of them, I was optimistic and reluctant to face the worst case scenario—that the number of normal school days at that point had been instantaneously reduced to zero. 

Just as my high school experience was ending, I was preparing for new beginnings, driving myself crazy over the looming college decision releases at the end of March. However, once I clicked the “ENROLL” button on my computer screen, I knew that I may not be able to see my brand new classmates when I expected to. Now that I was bridging the gap between GDS and my new college community, it suddenly felt as if I was floating in nothingness with no single community to count on anymore. And it didn’t help that day after day, we came closer to acknowledging that we would have to wait well beyond June for our Senior Prom, graduation, Beach Week and plenty of grade-wide parties. 

It has been a glimmer of hope seeing how much our class has come together, consistently offering support to one another and the community through our redesigned quest projects. And it doesn’t hurt that we got class shoutouts from pretty much every important person in the world along with a TV graduation event hosted by LeBron James and Barack Obama.

I am so glad that I have the incredible Class of 2020 to ride out this adventure with—I miss you all and thank you so much.

Micah Hurewitz ’20