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High School

Dear High School Seniors Living Through the Pandemic…

Dear High School Seniors in a Slump,

Greetings from a sophomore in college who’s feeling bad for herself but even worse for you guys. My sister is a senior just like you, and it has been heartbreaking to see all the senior moments that I experienced get swept away from her this year. I’m sure you’re tired of all the pity comments and silly questions. “How’s senior year? Do you like learning virtually?” Seriously, who has the time or energy to answer these questions? Senior year is fine. Learning virtually sucks. This letter is not intended to undermine any of the frustrations you’re feeling cause it does 100% suck. I’m simply here to try and help you look on the bright side during these crazy times. 

pink prom dress
Tai's Captures on Unsplash

Where should I begin… prom, athletic senior nights, senior trips? Every school has different traditions, but regardless they’re all important and you deserve to celebrate yourselves at each and every one of these events. We could look ahead and be optimistic about your graduation festivities, but at this point it’s difficult to get excited about the upcoming months without hesitation. I’m sorry this uncertainty is changing the senior year you’ve always imagined, but there are some great things in your life RIGHT NOW that the pandemic can’t steal away. 

First and most importantly, your friends. You may not be sitting in class or goofing off in the cafeteria together this fall, but your friends are still here and they’re just about the only people who understand what you’re going through. Lean on them… complain, cry, scream, laugh— whatever helps to get you through these tough times. Within reason there are still plenty of fun things you guys can do together. Sleepovers, hikes, car karaoke sessions… although these events may not seem as fun as the typical senior activities, the greatest memories are actually made from the simplest moments. 

get in loser mean girls
Paramount Pictures

Next, comes your family. Although it may not seem like it at the moment, it’s actually nice that you have more time at home, and possibly more family members home to spend time with. Trust me, college is fun and I miss it dearly, but there’s nothing like a homemade meal and a hug from your mom. Cherish these moments while they last because before you know it, you’ll be attending an awesome university halfway across the country.

Try to remember that there are good things ahead. It’s hard for anyone to say when this may be, but it WILL happen eventually. You will go to a concert again, you will get to experience a college frat party, and you will attend weddings with hundreds of guests. Specifically for your grade, I’d bet that your five year reunion will be an absolute banger to compensate for the proms and dances you didn’t get to attend. Does this make your situation fair? Absolutely not. Does it make you any less frustrated? No. But it’s something to look forward to and keep you motivated while we wait. 

Class of 2021, your grade has a card no one else will ever be able to pull— the “my junior spring and senior year was cancelled” card. This could definitely be handy for future bargaining deals and will always make a great joke. I look forward to the day where the pandemic is a fuzzy clump of time all blurred together into Tiger King, masks, and takeout menus. Until then, stay positive, appreciate the small victories, and remember— the pandemic can’t stop you from making memories and celebrating yourselves. 


A College Kid Who Feels For Ya

Jessica Shay

U Mass Amherst '23

Jessica Shay is a junior at UMass Amherst and this is her third semester writing for HerCampus. She loves working with kids and plans to become a teacher. When she's not in class, you can find her reading, baking, or teaching spin classes at the Rec Center.
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