COVID-19: R.I.P. senior year

Enjoying+the+first+football+game+of+senior+year+--+little+did+we+know+how+the+year+would+be+altered

Jacob Casella

Enjoying the first football game of senior year — little did we know how the year would be altered

Jacob Casella

When I first heard of the Coronavirus in the winter I thought literally nothing of it, along with everyone else. Even when COVID-19 first came to Chicago at the end of January, I thought it was no big deal.

During the last week of school before the as-of-now-seven-week-quarantine, the virus was still a big joke. I was so upset that the St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown got canceled, and that I probably wasn’t going to be able to go to Italy for spring break anymore.

That week really wasn’t that long ago but now feels like a year ago. From the last day of school before the pandemic, there is a video of me pretending to cough on my fellow Blueprint staff members making fun of the virus (which really did not age well, and I would like to issue a public apology).

But we all thought nothing of it — even District 99 administration. I mean, there was a tornado drill, where we were all on top of each other the day before they canceled school.

This was before the age of “social distancing” and “flattening the curve.”

As you all know, everything with COVID-19 came very fast and abruptly. We were sad about parades and parties then, but now I doubt I will ever go to DGS as a student again.

And I’m honestly very sad about it. I do not do well in times of uncertainty, and this is the most uncertain I think my life — and everyone else who is not like 100 years old — has ever been. I know so many people that have either dyed or buzzed off their hair. (Not a good look, you’re gonna come out of your house eventually so do not shave your head).

In this time of uncertainty, there is a lot of sadness, especially for the Class of 2020.

I don’t know if I’ll get to wear the most beautiful dress from Peaches to the Bolingbrook Golf Club. I don’t know if I’ll be able to cry like the baby I am after my graduation. I don’t know if I’ll ever see so many faces that I saw everyday and took for granted at DGS again.

I know we’re all trying to stay happy and positive. I saw a classic Karen-Facebook meme which read something about the Class of 2020 being born right after 9/11 and now graduating in a pandemic and how this hardship will shape us.

But to me, that meme made little sense. I don’t remember 9/11 because I was a month from being brought into the world. I know that Corona is bigger than me, or DGS or every senior in the entire world and that people are literally dying, but everyone has a right to still be upset.

Personally, my relationship with DGS has had its ups and downs. I feel like a completely different person than when I stepped in the doors in 2016 (I mean I had hideous braces, a scary long haircut, and dressed like a grandma — not kidding).

The relationships with teachers and other adults in the school and my peers are ones that have helped shape me. The opportunities I have been given due to the school are many that I will always be thankful for.

As I begin to get ready for college and the rest of my life, I really wanted to say goodbye these last couple of months. And now, I do not know if I will be able to.

And although there is safety in the fact we all are going through the same thing, I want to say hi to Mr. Schwartz again or fall asleep in my chemistry class one last time. I want to properly say goodbye to the people that have made a difference in my life instead of jokingly screaming “H.A.G.S.” down the halls on March 13.

When I pictured the last months of senior year, I pictured prom and ditch days — not a seven week one. I pictured actually seeing my friends, not Facetiming them at 3 a.m. crying. I definitely didn’t picture being obsessed with tiger keepers.

But I guess this is how our lives are right now.

I want to say something positive about the experience and not just be whiny, but quite frankly I can’t.

R.I.P. senior year — I wish I got to know you better.

H.A.G.S.,
Jacob