How People Are “Consoling” Seniors during the COVID-19 Quarantine

The whole COVID-19 outbreak has brought a lot of heartbreak to millions of people worldwide. This is a serious event and so many people are affected by it, including high school and college seniors. Though I can’t speak for everyone, as a college senior, I’m kind of frustrated with how some people are dealing with the situation. Yep, this is a rant.

            First of all, I want to say that I understand that postponing graduations and cancelling proms and other senior events are necessary to flattening the COVID-19 curve and saving lives. I am completely on board with all of that if it means that people are being safe and protecting others. However, it still broke my heart when my college graduation was cancelled, especially since I was the only person in my immediate family to graduate college and this was something everyone was looking forward to. I also know a lot of high school seniors who are missing out on prom and other senior activities that make their final months of high school enjoyable. Although some people are doing really great things, like having virtual proms and videos for seniors, so many people are trying to make this about them that it seems like a slap in the face.

            One thing that bothers me more than anything is when people bring up irrelevant experiences from their high school and college times and apply them to this. I know their intentions are good, but I’ve seen many a Facebook post about people saying that their senior year was cut short because of a war and the draft, so that people not getting to walk across the stage because of a sickness is not a big deal. I appreciate veterans and respect what they have done for the country, but this situation is not comparable. This is a worldwide issue that is keeping everyone in their homes and basically the world has stopped operating as normal and there is no end in sight. Though war has its hardships and deserve to be recognized, this situation is not the same, so trying to “talk some sense” into your grandkids comes off as discounting the disappointment and anxiety of millions of people and their families.

            Another thing that grinds my gears is the influx of people who think that posting their senior photos from their senior year of high school or college is helping console graduates. Tons of people did not even get to take pictures and probably will not be able to for a long time, and it feels like those people are inserting themselves into the situation and finding an excuse to post their senior pictures in the midst of all of this. The idea of posting their photos is not the issue, it is the fact that those people actually believe it helps us, when it really just makes us see what we are missing out on.

            I know a lot of this is just me being bitter and hurt, but I really think there are other ways to go about consoling the graduates that makes this seem more about their pain and not other people’s experiences that downplay what everyone’s going through. I appreciate the sentiment, I really do, but inserting a situation or an experience into something that has nothing to do with you hurts the people it does directly affect. Just take the time to send a message of hope and love to those who just got everything taken away from them way earlier than they expected.