For the Class of 2020, a Graduation Season Like No Other

Seniors were asked the following question: 

Do you feel that the unfortunate “coronavirus shutdown” during your senior year has empowered your graduating class in any way? Here are some replies: 

***I feel that this coronavirus shutdown has put a huge impact on my graduating class of 2020. Everyday I would complain about waking up early and going to school to work, but now I would do anything to just have one more day of school with my friends and teachers. (Jillian Ammiano)

***I think quarantine forced senior year to cut short, making me feel like the last day of school was the day before lockdown. It was abrupt and utterly disappointing. At the same time, it might have empowered many of us, as graduates, to look forward to what we can do with our lives and hopefully find enlightenment in our next step. (Jessica Du)

*** The coronavirus shutdown during my senior year empowered my class because we will go down in history. The fact that we are not only dealing with the basic stresses of senior year, but with the stresses of this pandemic is so empowering to me. I know once this is all through, I will feel even more proud of myself for getting through such a difficult time. (Marisa Mejia)

*** I do feel that the Coronavirus shutdown has empowered our senior class drastically. I am saying this because this pandemic has made us realize what we are capable of doing for mankind and the future, and we are the face of the future, so we must make the right decisions to make the world a better place. (Omar Seliman

***The unfortunate event made us discover what and how we really want to spend our last year of high school. It gave us a little regret for the things we did and didn’t do while we were still at school, but those regrets made us appreciate our time and memories with each other, both good and bad. (Trisha Midel

***I do feel that it has empowered us because this is a very difficult thing to happen, and it definitely has made us become adults even sooner than we expected as we have had to be stronger and braver than ever. If something is hard in the future, we will know that if we were able to handle this and make it, then we can get through the next thing, too. (Sarah Smith)

***I believe it has in some way. It has made us realize that nothing is strong enough to take away all that we have learned these past four years. No one can take away the memories or the great friends we have made along the way.  This virus has taught us an important life lesson which is to always stay strong and follow your dreams no matter what. (Frankie Grenevich)

*** As much as this stinks and we won’t be able to finish our senior year, we have to keep our head up and think of the positives.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and something great will hopefully come out of this. (Angela Costanza) 

***There is doubt that the class of 2020 is an interesting bunch, but through the pandemic, I would say we have become incredibly close. We talk everyday in our group chat and have become empowered to make this as fun as possible.  (Olivia Mastroeni)

*** Well, I would say YES because we all realized that this is our last year, and we want it to be good either in school or out. But we have come together as one. (Robin Wall)

*** The coronavirus shutdown has affected the seniors in a way that has made us realize the importance of friends and getting an education.  I have also learned how my family support has helped me get through this.  (Zach Chaparro)

***I do, it shows in the end how we all can come together. We’re the only ones that genuinely know how it feels, so we can share that connection. (Arina Iurato)

*** I do feel the “coronavirus shutdown” has empowered the class of 2020 in many ways. We will have a sense of camaraderie, and we will always remember the challenges that we overcame and make the world better for it. (Joey Desimone)

***The coronavirus shutdown has made our senior class realize that the time we had together was very special, and those are memories we will get to cherish for the rest of our lives. It made our class stronger and closer, and we are all waiting to see each other one last time before we part in our new chapters of our lives. (Lauren Riker). 

***It is only a phase that we will overcome. Life always puts a wall in our way. We just have to find a way to climb that wall and keep going on our own paths. We will look back to this year in a couple of years and say: “We made it !” despite the challenges. (Erica Ruiz)

***In some ways, I feel it has made us all stronger with expecting the unexpected from life and that anything can happen to anyone. It also made us all come together, supporting each other through all this, bringing us all closer together because we are all feeling and suffering the loss of the most important year of our high school life. (Jacob Boehm

***This “coronavirus shutdown” is very unfortunate for the senior class and everyone else, but what I feel is that it will empower our class. You have to learn to accept this unfortunate event and understand it is out of your control and you are feeling the same way as many others. Always remember this is just a small part of your life, and you will have many moments of joy to come. (Christopher Hawley)

***Yes, it has only made us closer. We all have a unique story of how we have pushed through the Coronavirus Pandemic that only the class of 2020 has. (Adam Smith)

*** Yes, I feel that the graduating class sees life from a new perspective. I think that we never actually thought our senior year would end just like that. Now I feel that our seniors will be grateful for what is to come from ending this global crisis along with living their best lives. (Elizabeta Kelesovska)

***I believe that this has us see life differently. We had to change our expectations and make them into something unique.  (Leeann Olson)

***I feel like the “coronavirus shutdown” doesn’t really make the graduating class feel empowered. That is because most of us worked very hard during those 12 or more years of school to celebrate a huge accomplishment in our lives, that you can only experience one time. We are missing out on so much, parties, prom, hanging out with friends, and even just having fun with our classmates sitting in a traditional classroom. The virus shutting everything down just makes us cherish the great years we had and all the memories that were made from them. (Rabeet Sheikh)

***I think that all of us sticking to the rules and staying home and clean made us stronger and wiser. It’s a sad time with all the lost memories, but as long as we are healthy and living. (Alexa Waal)

***I do feel that the coronavirus shutdown during my senior year has empowered my graduating classmates. This lockdown has made us all realize that things don’t last forever, so you should enjoy them while you have it. How were any of us supposed to know that the last time we saw each other was going to be the last time for months? (Kevonnah Hayes)

*** I feel like it has empowered us by allowing us to grow more than some other classes might have. This is the first time this has happened, and we are fighting our way through it; we are not giving up that easily. We are fighting through the quarantine tooth and nail to get to where we ultimately need to be, and we are not letting it dampen our hope for the future. (Sierra Ostman

***No because most of us just wanted a normal graduation. Any other way of graduating does not give the same feeling of satisfaction. (Matthew Castano)

***I don’t feel like it empowered us, but I feel like it has helped us grow as a group. We are all going through the same thing and ALL of us just want to get back to school. (Roger White)

***It has made us stronger as a class. We have been able to think back to all of the good times and really appreciate the times we had with friends and teachers. (Amanda Sutton)

***I feel that it has empowered our graduating class in many ways. It’s made some of us feel like we want to make sure  that other classes don’t go through the same thing we did or that we feel grateful to realize that what we had is greater than others. (Charlotte Whritenour )

***I feel that the shutdown has made us all realize that we must enjoy the things we have because it won’t last forever and helped us cherish the moments we had with each other. If we were to go back to the beginning of the year and were told a virus would shut down our school for the year, no one would believe it. (Freddie Gonzalez)

***No, I  feel the corona shutdown has actually made us more dependent than ever. The shutdown has removed power from our class by restricting our abilities. (Austin Mesmer)

***No because we were just starting to become friendly again with everyone and now this happened. Now we can’t make the effort to hang out as a whole class anymore. (Alexandra Wied)

***Our class has a unique story that no other class has. I can’t wait to tell future generations what it was like during the pandemic and how it changed society in many ways that differ from our day to day life. (Geore Navarro)

***Yes, coronavirus has affected my outlook on my class because when I was in school, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Now I would do anything to have at least one more day in Hopatcong, a clap out, prom, graduation, and lastly to hug all my teachers! (Gianna  Kestenholz)

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