Spring has an expectant air to it. The weather is getting warmer, the flowers are in bloom, everything is still green. I savor this time as an adult, but as a student, spring meant so much more. It meant the end of the school year was approaching, and for seniors, it meant the start of a whole new phase of life.
The coronavirus has made it a weird spring for everyone, but young people may be feeling it more strongly. Bay Area schools won’t be holding in-person classes for the rest of the school year, which means lots of seniors are finishing out their high school careers online. They aren’t going to prom, signing yearbooks, sharing the news of college acceptances with friends and teachers in person, or even walking across the graduation stage in front of their family and friends.
I asked four students at schools around the Bay Area to record regular audio updates about how they’ve been feeling and what they’ve been doing over the past eight weeks. This week’s Bay Curious episode is dedicated to their voices.
“I’m Taila Lee. I’m a senior at Woodside High School. I’m still taking a lot of time to adjust to online learning. This is only day 3 and I already feel a little bit behind. I think I’m really missing the structure of the school day. I’m also really missing face-to-face instruction and that social interaction with teachers and classmates.”
“It’s Tuesday, March 31 and just about two hours ago I found out I’m not going back to school. We’re continuing online learning for the rest of the year, until June. And that means March 13 was the last day of my senior year. And I’m really sad. I’m not going to be able to go prom. I’m not going to sign yearbooks with my friends. I’m not going to hug people goodbye at graduation, take photos. My first semester of college might even be online, which is really crazy to think about.”
“This is Qadir Scott. I’m a senior at Oakland Tech. A big thing with me, I listen to this band called Bad Brains. Something they talk about is keeping that PMA. That’s positive mind and attitude. PMA. Control everything that you can control, you know. Everything else will kind of play out, but if you keep that positive attitude and mindset, you can achieve anything. That’s how I see it. That’s exactly how I’m thinking about it right now. Make the best out of it. The way I see it is like, class of 2020, the corona class, COVID-19. We’re part of a bigger moment in history.”
“I’m going to Morehouse [College] in the fall. I’m excited about that. But we’re going to do online school, I’m pretty sure, for the first month or two. I don’t really know how to feel about that. It kinda sucks because you kinda want to just jump right into your college experience. But it might make it easier, who knows. I’m kinda just playing it by ear, again trying to keep a positive mind attitude.”