Scenes from the last year…
March 13, 2020, a date which will live in infamy. There are other dates that marked the beginning of the Covid-19 era for other groups of people – for NBA players, coaches, and fans it might be Rudy Gobert’s positive test on March 11, the same day the WHO also officially characterized the spread of coronavirus as a pandemic. But for teachers and students, that Freaky Friday the 13th was the last day in the classroom – and for many students, the last day with their friends – for over a year.
This is a collection of thoughts from the High Life staff and adviser about what we have missed over the past 13 months – or what we feel we have missed out on.
Xandria Hines, Staff Writer
I feel like I missed out on an entire year of my life. My family and I were supposed to do some travelling and visiting family. Getting together and celebrating smaller achievements and happy moments. My friends and I, too, most of whom are other seniors, won’t be able to have a normal prom or graduation. We would be standing so far apart from one another, unable to dance like weirdos or mingle with other groups, that there would be no point in going. Most of the smaller things in life you look forward to aren’t possible, because they’re done outside, or with others. It kind of sucks all the emotions out of you, and I miss that as well.
Sierra Brott-Hunter, Staff Writer
I feel what I missed out is going to family gatherings. I missed out on seeing my best friend that lives an hour away and missed going to her birthday. I missed going to Disneyland, Knotts, going to the park. Missed going to concerts. I miss seeing my friends and going to movies with and just having fun. Just going outside. I miss going to the mall and just being able to chill. I miss going bowling. Going on trips with friends and family.
Kelly Rodriguez, Staff Writer
I feel like I missed out on being a teenager. I am going to be 18 already and we’ve been in quarantine for a year. I didn’t get to be in school doing fun things, going to games, or hanging out with friends since it wasn’t safe. Also, my friend’s parents were scared to let their kids out because it wasn’t safe. Another thing is that I spend my time on the TV and on my phone. I think that my whole family can’t stand each other because we weren’t able to go out and it was all of us in a house, fighting most of the time because we didn’t have space. Till this day my friend can’t go out because her parents are still scared. I only have one friend now. I lost touch with everyone I use to hang out with a lot.
Alex Phouma, Staff Writer
Something that I feel like I missed out on is my last year of high school. For seniors it’s our last year of high school, and after high school you have to become more independent and responsible. You gotta worry about college, for those who decided to go, while balancing working, and the little milestones like being leading and able to drive to get to those places.
Caleb Dunomes, Staff Writer
Throughout the beginning of the pandemic everyone had lost access to so many experiences and activities. Things like access to loved ones and significant others, big sporting events and even once in a lifetime school experiences. Personally, I have missed out on the true teenager experience. With both my junior and senior year being taken away I’ve lost the opportunity to go to dances, go to big track meet invitationals (like Arcadia, Redondo, Arizona and more), and even events outside of school. It felt like I was on the top of the world, going to Disneyland during February (before Covid was seen as a threat) directly after three months filled with events like club events, track meets, Black college expos and fun memories with my friends. Now it feels like I won’t be able to experience that anymore. My life now has just been working, track practice and homework assignments. Covid has made me feel like I’m being forced into growing up without experiencing things that teenagers experience. Now all us seniors can do is grow and face the unpredictable future.
Zinia Francis, Staff Writer
The past year has felt like someone pressed fast forward. I feel like I have missed a significant part of my teenage years. Since I was younger I’ve always wanted to have a true high school/teenage experience like going out after school with friends, sleep overs, hanging out on the weekends, going to amusement parks and having parties. So far as a seventeen year old I haven’t experienced the fun I have been yearning for. The Covid pandemic started when I was sixteen and I will be eighteen in three months. Up until I was sixteen I hadn’t had many outings with friends or was very social in general . I had begun to come out of my shell shortly before the quarantine. I’ve missed out on being social and simply taking advantage of having no responsibility.
Daryl Holmlund, Adviser
Immediately after the home quarantine began, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to visit my 99 year-old grandma over Spring Break in April – not just because flying to Chicago by plane seemed incredibly risky at the time, but also because she was in a retirement home that was locked down to keep the virus out. Grandma turned 100 in March, and while some family members visited her for her birthday, most of us didn’t feel safe or right flying in and potentially bringing the virus with us to infect other family members. We had a nice Zoom call with family, but it wasn’t the same, and I can’t help but think that if circumstances were different, we would have had a bit of a family reunion. I’m hopeful that I’ll get to see grandma and others this summer, but it won’t be the same as it would have been celebrating on her actual birthday.