Class of 2020 learns harsh life lessons in crash course final

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Years from now the Class of 2020 will look back on this senior year as a story that seemed stranger than fiction. Even now, no matter what your age, living through the first pandemic in 102 years seems surreal, and in reality is a serious threat to our health and finances.
But this COVID-19 pill is especially hard to swallow for high school seniors who should now be preparing to celebrate with all the pomp and circumstance they deserve. Instead, unthinkable circumstances have altered their universe and robbed them of precious memories.
For a senior, prom, class trips, the home stretch surge of sports and extracurricular activities, then that extra special graduation day are a big deal in a young life. And yet, the coronavirus pandemic has put them in perspective. There are more important things, including our health and life itself, and times like this help us realize not to take that for granted. It usually takes years, even decades, for life to teach those big-picture lessons, but the Class of 2020 has been forced to take a crash course final exam.
It’s so disappointing not to be able to fill gymnasiums with family and friends to send them across the ceremonial stage in style, but that’s just not possible at this time. Area school administrators are thus joining others around the state and nation looking for ways to honor the Class of 2020 with virtual ceremonies and other special events. It’s that thought that counts, as local seniors should know just how much they mean to their schools and communities.
The News-Register begins a series of stories this week focused on area seniors who will share their thoughts and perspective on this experience. It seems ironic that some were already suffering from the infamous “senioritis” bug, which often has graduates ready to turn the tassel and leave high school behind long before the final day of school. As it turned out, the coronavirus wiped out a school routine most now wish they could have finished to the end.
What’s important is that you made it, and we’re proud of you!
We join the community in tipping our collective hats to these young folks, whom we have all cheered in various ways while they represented the Huskies, Hawks, Hornets and Storm. Cherish your high school memories and know that by pushing through this crisis you can handle whatever life throws at you.
And, no doubt, you’ll one day have senior year stories unlike any others.
Kurt Johnson

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