Stop comparing: a memoir to the senior class

Rachel Bennett

More stories from Rachel Bennett


I saw a post that was talking about how the seniors of the class of 2020 are being dramatic about not being able to live out their senior years in terms of graduation, prom, senior trips, sports, etc. The post compared it to the fact that high schoolers in the 60s and 70s spent their senior year fighting the Vietnam war. This is upsetting because none of those people posting things like this know how it feels to have their senior year taken away from them. People that put things like that on social media don’t know what it feels like to have something so important, something that is a rite of passage to move into adulthood could be taken away so easily. The kinds of people that are posting those things got to graduate high school, they got to go to their senior prom. They were able to play their last year of sports with their teams. They were able to go on a senior trip with either their parents or their friends. They got to go to the senior and goodbye parties. Those people were able to say goodbye to high school and say goodbye to being a teenager, but the class of 2020 may not ever get to experience that. They may never get to walk across that stage with their friends or be able to make peace with the fact that their lives are changing. These kids, myself included, may not get to go to college with a mindset that they can do whatever they want.

This Coronavirus is trying to destroy our generation by debilitating us. We have been asked to sit on our couch, unlike our grandparents who were asked to fight a war. The two concepts are definitely different, but are equally as hard for both generations. Our generation is a generation that is always moving, that has always had access to whatever they wanted, and now we have live in a time where we don’t know when the grocery stores are going to have toilet paper or meat or hand sanitizer. That is the most terrifying because throughout our lives we have been told that we can have whatever we want, when we want it through technology and through
instant gratification. We have never had to be denied what we want because of lack of resource, only because we chose to deny it.

Sitting on your couch or being quarantined to your own home is like a death sentence to people who have mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, ADD, etc. asking a generation of kids who suffer from mental illnesses to stay in their house and not allow themselves to distract from an illness that protrudes their everyday life is harder than any of these millennials or boomers will ever be able to understand. They didn’t have to go through it so it’s easy for them to judge and tell us that this isn’t hard because it is a lot harder than any of us ever expected it to be. You always think as a kid that when school gets canceled that that would be the best day of your life because the responsibility and routine is gone, none of us expected that to become untrue. We all wanted to be able to have fun and do what we want to do, but it’s like this virus has stopped us from living life.

This virus has made it hard for any of us to chase our dreams or continue chasing our dreams because we are afraid that it is going to infect us and ultimately affect the ones that we love. It is something that has instilled fear within us and is controlling our lives, and I’ve never let anything control my life except for me. It is taking away our ability to connect with others physically something that is nourishing to all of us. Social interaction is something that seems to heal mental, physical, emotional wounds. It is the connection that we have with others that truly makes life worth living. Putting a bunch of people who suffer from a mental illness and telling them that they aren’t allowed to talk to people or be around people is only going to make their situation worse. It is only going to increase suicide rates, mental illness rates because they will be denied the social interaction that they deserve because of a virus that has shaking the entire world. I believe that the COVID-19 virus isn’t the end of the world. I believe that it is a wakeup
call to the world to realize that they need to be making better decisions. We all need to learn to be better prepared, kind, and clean.