by Lucy Holland
When it was announced that school would be out for three weeks I was ecstatic. I thought it would be an extended spring break full of friends and vacation. For the first couple days while the world was still processing an incoming global pandemic that is how it was. I went to Chic-fil-a with my friends and hung out at the pool. Then it happened. Slowly at first, then all at once. Restaurants, shops, beaches, colleges, and states closed. A thought that small businesses might never reopen became a source of fear. Reliance on package delivery companies like Amazon skyrocketed over night.
The shutdown happened in the midst of my college decision making process. How was I supposed to tour one of my top choice schools if it was across the country? Even when my mom and I risked an eight hour drive to California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, another top choice of mine, it was hard to get a good feeling from the school. It was like the college was saying, “Welcome! Despite the absence of life and ghostown-feeling of this place, we promise it is fun here!”. I knew that five months ago the school was bustling with energy but I was not there five months ago. I was there after students had evacuated in droves. The saddest part was that my grandmother lives ten minutes from San Luis Opisbo but I could not visit her in fear I would get her sick.
Struggling with choosing a college was not the only issue that the pandemic brought. All my life I have been lucky enough to be very close with my siblings. My sister, Annie, is only fourteen months younger than me. This meant that in my senior year she was a junior. The time had finally come. We were going to go to prom together and play against each other in the powderpuff game. Not many siblings get that experience. We were so excited to have shared memories in such fun activities. Of course, this never happened.
I also lost time with people I might not ever see again. My closest and best friends were moving 3,000 miles away from me to go to college. I was relying on the last three months of high school to spend as much time with them as I could. I wanted to hug them at graduation and tell them how much they meant to me. Everyday since the stay-at-home order was put in place I have hoped to get more time. I want to find closure by walking across the stage at graduation and watching my friends do so too.
I asked my friend what she thought about the possibility we may not have a graduation and she said, “It is a little sad, but at least we will not have to deal with any awkward goodbyes.”. When she said that I knew that I would go through thousands of awkward goodbyes if it meant the world could go back to normal.