Seniors cope with losing final goodbyes

The senior wall, that once served as a backdrop to many Heritage seniors' photos earlier this year now stands deserted, as HHS closes its doors for the remainder of the semester amid COVID-19 concerns. The class of 2020 is now faced to deal with the abrupt end to their high school careers.

   On April 3, 2020, LPS Superintendent Brian Ewert announced the cancellation of in-person learning for the remainder of the semester, leaving Heritage seniors to cope with losing their last two months of high school. For senior Raina L., this means viewing the situation with as positive of an outlook as possible.

   “I’ve been trying to focus on the idea that this will be such a unique way to end high school. I let myself be really sad about it for a week and now I don’t let myself think about the things I will be missing because it is completely out of our control,” says Raina. 

   Senior Sarah R. has a similar sentiment, commenting on moving past the disappointment.

   “Spending time dwelling on it is robbing me of even more time to just live life and still enjoy it,” Sarah says.

   Maturity in handling the loss of right-of-passage events seems to be a trend for Heritage seniors, as senior Simeon E. admits that though he was looking forward to finishing out his athletic career with his Swim and Track teammates, he is aware his loss is small compared to others.

   “Many other people have lost so much more than I have,” says Simeon.

   Lack of closure, however, has proven to be significantly difficult for seniors to cope with, as senior Jim K., who has used the situation as a learning opportunity to be more present in his life going forward, still finds missing out on the traditional “lasts” to be the hardest to accept.

   “The going away assembly has always been something that I cherished because I got to see so many of my friends walk out as a student for the last time. Since I’m missing that, I’m sad because I’ve always wondered what that feeling would be to take my last walk out of the gym,” says Jim.

   Senior Grace D. agrees, noting that the end of the year traditions like Life 101 and prom were what she was most looking forward to.

   “It’s been really hard to cope with the fact that none of us get a goodbye after four years of going through high school and making connections with each other,” Grace says.

   Though the aforementioned seniors have all used the loss of time with teachers and friends as an opportunity to spend time with their families and soak up time outdoors, the reality of irreplaceable events like graduation being celebrated in a non traditional manner have taken a toll on the class of 2020. HHS administration and the LPS district are currently looking into ways for seniors to still celebrate graduation and other events that Heritage seniors have looked forward to throughout the year.

   “I was most looking forward to graduation. I hope it is just delayed until August or whenever it is safe. Online stuff just isn’t the same!” says Raina.

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