By High School Senior, Monica Rodriguez
My world changed on Friday March 13th. I was in 6th period when my AP Macroeconomics teacher displayed an email he received from the administration. Although the previous days consisted of anticipation regarding school closures, I couldn’t believe that my school district had made such a decision. As I tried to absorb the news, the school bell rang signaling the end of what would become our last day in high school. There were no preparations, no lesson plans, and no opportunity to say goodbye.I grew emotional as my track season, prom, graduation, and final months in high school would would be cancelled. I felt as if my 12 years in school wouldn’t be commemorated.
For four years, we worked long hours in snack bars, held countless meetings, and held numerous fundraisers. We were constantly put to the test as balancing academics, sports, and student government was deemed impossible. Despite the discouragement, the obstacles, and the stress, we prevailed. Leading the class of 2020 turned into unpaid employment. We worked relentlessly because our prom would symbolize the effort of the first generation, student athletes.
We had disputes with teachers who wanted to shut down our fundraisers, disputes with students who grew impatient with our progress, and disputes with members of the administration who viewed us as young and incompetent students of color. Overcoming such obstacles transformed us into the well rounded individuals we are today. Four years of diligence would soon be paid off on April 4th, 2020. It’s funny to say that we would even have to fight against an entire pandemic. I’ve joked that the deserving class of 2020 was just predestined to fail. Such a problem is incomparable to problems endured by those who are currently sick or lack resources. Yet, I believe it is valid to feel upset about such an outcome because the efforts of my friends and I were disposed of like pieces of trash. We’ve tried contacting the district yet have received no response. We are not prepared to lose over $10,000. These past 25 days have served as an opportunity of accepting our fate and being thankful for the memories that were created.
Regarding my family, we’ve been fortunate to have a home, food, and other resources. My parents have continued to work outside from home and my siblings and I have been attempting to stay busy at home.
My parents don’t have the opportunity of working from home … my parents are engaging in safe measures. However, there are individuals who continue living as if a pandemic isn’t occurring and I fear that my parents will encounter such people while they work.
Meanwhile, my siblings and I have struggled to find a schedule. As the oldest, I have to ensure they are engaging in stimulating activities at home.
In the first weeks, we felt as if we were trapped and longed to be outside without any limitations. As weeks have passed, we have grown used to the situation and have begun our online education. We still all miss going to school and going out on the weekends. At times my family members can grow tired from each other. I would say the hardest part of this isolation is having to stay inside when the weather appears ideal from our windows. It feels as if time has come to a halt, and repetition has dominated our lives.
This past month has also allowed me to ponder about the truths this pandemic has revealed. My personal perspective has defined this experience as something new and bizarre. I feel disappointed when I see that people hoard for themselves or fail to take the situation seriously. I feel anxious because of the massive amount of uncertainty regarding how long the situation will last and how drastic it will become. I also feel disappointed toward leaders who have dismissed the urgency and failed to take action. My heart goes out to less developed countries, homeless individuals, and mourning family members. This situation has served as a wake up call for the world. The environment has been recuperating with the absence of humans. Medical professionals are much more valuable than materialistic items. Finally, our divisions in color, partisanship, background, and economic status have proven insignificant as we are all subject to this disease.