March 18th, 2020. For civilians around the world this date might not mean much. It was just another day in this crazy spring where a virus called Covid-19 is still making news headlines. And for the normal adult in Kansas it is just the day Governor Kelly decided to shut down all schools for the remainder of the year. Sure, that’s big news. But for some, this day was something much bigger.
The news came with a blow. High school seniors around Kansas just lost their last chance… their last chance to make a name for themselves in the community, their last chance to finally get those college recruiters interested, their last chance to just go out with their teammates and have fun for one more season.
Jimmie Brooks, an AHS senior who lost his final high school golf season due to the coronavirus, is one who felt the loss.
“It was really disappointing that the season got cancelled. I have been working hard and felt this would be a really good year, but now I will never know,” said Brooks.
Athletic seniors were not the only ones that felt hurt and emotional about the ending of the in-class school year. Seniors didn’t get to finish their last 9 weeks with their friends they’ve spent years with. They didn’t get that sense of accomplishment when walking through the tunnel of underclassmen on the very last day of their high school careers. Emotions and thoughts of not knowing why ran thick through every senior’s head.
Senior Sarah Samsel had hoped her senior year would end with a grand finale. But when school was cancelled it ended her senior prom, her last day of high school, and graduation. It also added a new kind of anxiety due to the new “continuous learning” school setting where students receive their school assignments via the iPad and submit their work from home.
“It has definitely taken a toll on me. I hate not being able to see anyone and I always feel unprepared for school. It’s a different feeling for me for sure. I am always scared I missed an assignment and my grade will drop because of it.” said Samsel. “It really sucks because I had hoped my senior year would be the best school year yet and it was absolutely not.”
As bad as it hurt to get this heartbreaking news, the sun still came up the next day. And as they continue to try and manage these tough times it tends to get a little bit easier as we as a nation continue on this hard and unknown path. So next time we are sitting at home, bored out of our minds wanting to go back to our normal routine, just think about that senior who got everything taken from them and although we are going to recover and go back to our normal those seniors will never get their last chance back.