When I learned that March 13 would be my last day of school for, what was at the time, just three weeks, I suppressed the thought. As I went through my day and as I went to each of my classes, I tried to shut out the idea that I wouldn’t be at my favorite place for a while, because I didn’t want anything to feel different. Despite the fact that things really were different with the only thing done in each of my classes was soak up each other’s presence and register for Microsoft Teams classes. I knew in the back of my head that if that was going to be my last day at McNick for a while, I would want to remember it as any other day, except for I think that at a school like McNick, it takes more than one day to soak it all up.
In the early spring of my junior year, I made the heartbreaking decision to not continue participating in Track like I had been for the past four years of my life. I decided to fill my extra time with a part time job. I was offered the job I interviewed for on March 13, but was offered no hours until further notice due to COVID-19. In the spring of my junior year, I was supposed to attend my first Kairos retreat –something I had been anticipating since I learned about it as a freshman. This was the last thing of mine I was looking forward to be taken away from me until further notice. It was postponed with a date until it wasn’t. There’s not even a date for the retreat that was supposed to happen on March 17. At least now I won’t continue to be let down time and time again. I was looking forward to soaking up the last few months of being an underclassman to prepare myself for a senior year full of fun and leadership — and now I’m not even sure if I’ll have one. There wasn’t a day at McNick that went by for me where I didn’t laugh. I miss not understanding absolutely anything happening in AP Gov. I miss taking class field trips to the café in creative writing. I miss the Anatomy classroom turtles, the AP Lit laughs, Donna’s cookies, people almost dying during scooter races at lunch. I miss Tuesday morning Student Council Meetings and Thursday morning Philanthropy club meetings. I miss being late to class because I spent too much time talking to my teachers. My heart hurts for the seniors, but if the virus doesn’t get under control soon, I’m the next class to be deprived of school dances, sports seasons, and a graduation, among many, many other things. And I’m worried.
Sophomore Grant Must also had thoughts to share: “I was looking forward to finishing the school year off just as my freshman year had ended. Something I feel that I miss the most is the everyday Theology classes. While God is still with me at home, it takes a little bit of effort with our busy lives.” Must added, “I definitely feel that I will be academically prepared for the upcoming school year. While missing a quarter of the school year isn’t ideal, I feel that doing online school has been enough – if not more. Staying at home has kept me away from my friends, but overall I have been enjoying my time with my family in quarantine. This is an experience that (hopefully) won’t happen again, so why not take advantage of it?”
Freshman Kelly Carville shared many of the same sentiments: “I was looking forward to going to the baseball, lacrosse, and softball games to see my friends play and cheer in the stands. I was also looking forward to seeing the seniors become closer to their classmates and teachers before leaving McNick. Being able to do these things would [have] stay[ed] in my memory as good points [of] my freshman year. I’ve never seen a lacrosse or softball game so I was really looking forward to watching those sports. I also think that seeing how the seniors acted would [have] give[n] me an insight into how it would be when I am a senior here and to see the end of school year activities. I miss understanding [my] teachers more, spending time with friends, walking to classes, and [I’m] missing out on my club volleyball season. [I’m] realizing to not take anything for granted.”
Everything was cancelled. Concerts, vacations, classes, retreats, sports — everything. Do not feel bad for being upset about what you are missing because another person may be missing more. This is not a competition. We are all allowed to grieve what we’ve lost. You have every right to be upset. We will grieve our losses together. No matter how big or small. A loss is a loss.