Graduating during SIP – Class of 2020

Graduating during SIP - Class of 2020

With the help of the English department, the Emerald asked the Class of 2020 for a few words of wisdom and reflection. Here is what they had to say about clearing out their lockers, saying goodbye to high school, and graduating in this strange, historic time. 

“Although this school year didn’t pan out the way I imagined, I think this entire situation is a great life experience. Sometimes we don’t get what we want or what we are expecting, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. If I have learned anything, about life, from this quarantine it is that we must take the punches thrown our way and learn to make the best out of any scenario. I also think that being the only class, so far, to go through this will make for great stories and I’m not at all opposed to being part of this historic class.” –Matthew Winslow ’20

“Not going to lie, the strict procedure for clearing out our lockers scared me a bit when I first read the email. But after entering school, I was met with welcoming smiles and all of my questions answered. I was able to find everything that I needed to, even get some extra help trying to open my friend’s locker. Afterward I had just followed along the yellow caution signs to exit and left with a warm good bye.” –Sukyung Nam ’20

“Four years of high school and this is how it’s going to end. Never in a million years would I guess this would happen. I am devastated that I can not properly celebrate our accomplishments with my graduating class. I hope at some point we are able to all get together and do something special. We all deserve to have some kind of celebration before we take off.” –Sophie Simpson ’20

“Everything happens for a reason and I believe that this global pandemic really emphasized gratitude, patience, and perseverance. I also believe that it has metaphorically brought this class closer together and I really wish I got to say goodbye and interact with more people before this all happened. I hope that we get to have a graduation ceremony and other things that seniors would normally have, but the thoughtful graduation packages that the faculty and staff created for us were really heartwarming. I can’t wait to see my friends and teachers hopefully in the near future.” -Kevin Sarmiento ’20

“This feels so weird. It’s like in January nobody even knew about coronavirus and in the span of like two weeks, everything changed. First, we hear about Italy, then the cruise ships, and then the shelter in place. SHC went from “probably not closing” to distance learning for the foreseeable future in a matter of weeks. My whole end of senior year taken away. I think of when I’m in college and talking to people a few years older than me and being the only one in the group who didn’t have their own prom. Or talking to my kids about my end of high school experience. I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out. I want the bonding with people in my grade as I leave, and opening acceptance letters together, asking and answering the dreaded ‘what are you doing next year?’ question. Because none of us know what we’re doing next year. Hopefully not this!” -Catrina Grimaldi ‘20

“Freshman and sophomore year, I was just worrying about finishing all my working and getting through the year. Junior year, I started to think more about how fun it would be during senior year and a bit about the future after high school. At the beginning of senior year, I was excited for the big senior events that every senior was talking about. But never would I have imagined that this would happen. I couldn’t believe that I have missed all the senior events, especially graduating with the rest of my class. Over time I got over it and started to think about the future. I hope that at some point in the future, when this is done with, we could get together and celebrate the four years of hard work.” –SonPhi Diep ’20

“I went back to school for the last time as a high school student and I never expected it to end this way. I went to clean out my locker and let me tell you that it was actually really sad and one of the harder things I have done. It is what it is and there is nothing I can control, but I just wish that I could be with my friends one more time walking down the halls. I will never forget it for the rest of my life. The entire school was empty and there was no one around. Caution tape was everywhere and there was no liveliness anywhere. Surprisingly, I was hit with a lot of emotions and had no idea that walking into school would ever make me feel this way. People say that when life throws you punches you just have to roll with them, but let me tell you, my senior year was one hell of a punch.” –Carmela Marquez ’20

“Through this global pandemic, I have realized that life is short and that we take simple everyday tasks for granted. I have learned to be grateful for what I have and I am thankful that I am still here to experience such a historic time. It is funny how after 13 years, you would think we would be glad that we no longer have any school. But for us, we missed out on everything we have looked forward to. For years people have told me, it will all be worth it when senior year comes around, just keep going. Turns out, the world had other plans for us. These are times we will never get back, so I just hope that in the end, we find a way to all be together one last time before we head off to college.” –Molly Gorman ’20

“I can’t believe that I am spending my senior year in my house when I should be at school spending it with my senior class and my teachers.  There is nothing that I want more than to see my friends and have graduation.  After seeing some of my classmates posting that they went back to school, I just wanted to go back to school and see them.  I thought my senior year was supposed to be fun, but now I will remember it being canceled by COVID-19.  I hope that we will be clear to have a graduation in the next couple of months and that would just make things a little better.” –Kyle Choy ’20

“I think some regretful things about the seniors this year are that we can’t have graduation together and get the signatures from teachers on this year’s yearbook. I am mad because, as a senior in high school, I have never been to prom with my friends. When I got the email on the locker cleaning, I actually didn’t want to go back to school to clean my locker because I don’t think there is anything in my locker. I don’t want to go back just to check if there is anything in my locker. Plus, the school is kind of far away from my house. The only thing I really hope right now is to not have online classes for my first semester in college. Anyway, I want to thank you for all the teachers who taught me in these four years of high school. I am going to graduate soon and will miss everyone in school!” –Dorothy Lok Wai Li ’20

“I just want to say that I think this experience will make us all stronger, especially the class of 2020. We were robbed of our last few months of highschool, but together we can move forward and make the world a better place.” –Paul O’Driscoll ’20

“I want to say that I hope we find a vaccine or some kind of resistance to coronavirus, as it has destroyed everyone’s year. I know that this grade will forever be eternalized, but our grade is infamous, famous for the wrong things, but I want to remember all of the athletes that couldn’t perform, for the Bruce Mahoney, which we would’ve won, and the teachers especially, since who knows what will happen to their lives over the summer and after this year is over.” –Robert Gulchin ’20

“This is once in a lifetime to say the least. Not a single one of us could have predicted or even thought close to what was going on as we approached our graduation day. I will not be returning to school to clean out my locker because I never used my locker this year. I usually just kept books and such at my home. This pandemic will be known for years to come and I believe it will unite us stronger together as a country and an entire world when it is over and done with. We have learned a lot through this hard time.” –Cathal Coakley ’20

“It’s kind of a bitter sweet moment as I feel special for being part of this historic class but also sad it had to end the way it had to. The end of the year is always an exciting time but that indicator was just submitting my last assignment through schoology, kind of anticlimactic. The feeling of graduating is not really there for me right now, but I know most seniors are in the same boat.” –Alex Jauregui ’20

“For my senior year I wanted to make as many memories as possible with my friends, and I wanted to make it the best year possible. I know we can all say that we were not expecting this to happen, but it still breaks my heart knowing that we can’t walk on the stage on our graduation day. When I went back to school to clear out my locker, it felt very weird and I even forgot my locker combination, so a security guard had to open the lock for me. Four years of high school, four years of hard work and it ends like this.” -Jaqueline Sandoval ’20

“I really never expected my highschool journey to end like this. However, throughout the past couple of weeks, I have really seen how much my family and the SHC community cares for and supports all of us. Although it’s not the ending that anyone expected, I really do appreciate all the love that I have been shown during these last few weeks.” –Michaela Philpott ’20

“Even though senior year was by far the most fun, this ending has been extremely disappointing. There are so many things that I’ve missed out on because of this quarantine. (…) Senior prom is also really one of the last times you can bond with your whole grade and just missing out on it is simply brutal. I was also scheduled to go on the last Kairos in March but unfortunately quarantine started a week earlier and it got canceled. After so many people got to go on it and told me how it was a life-changing experience, I was extremely excited and wanted to go on this bonding trip really badly. All these events being canceled in addition to all the chaos around the world because of the virus is really such a horrendous way to end my senior year. It feels like our specific class is being picked on by the world or something and it just creates a terrible, empty feeling. It does feel strange indeed, as we expect times like these to be with friends, parties and all aspects attributed to a healthy social life but instead at home binging Netflix.”  -Alexandre Bonville ‘20

“I think that it is all hitting me this week being our final week of high school. All of this is really hard on my mom because she was so excited to see me graduate in the same place she did so many years prior. Nothing will be able to replace graduating in the beautiful cathedral we spent the last 4 years going to mass in. I am also very disheartened by seeing people who have previously graduated from high school or college on social media saying to the class of 2020 that we are “lucky” we didn’t have graduation and had to “sit through it” because it was long and boring for them. I completely disagree with statements like those because at least they had memories about it and could joke about it with fellow graduates, we don’t even have that. I know that the class of 2020, no matter what grade level, is forever bonded by this because we are the only people that know what it is like to feel all of our hard work and accomplishments not end with a ceremony and feel that it is all being put down the drain.” –Alejandra Moissiy ’20

“Of course, the pandemic happens during OUR senior year. When the administration first announced that school would be closing for 5 days, I was not expecting that day to be our last day of real high school. I was expecting to come back and finish out the year doing all the things I had been looking forward to all semester. In a way, I think it’s cool that this happened during our graduating year and it will be a cool story to tell the younger generations. However, I want my senior year back. I want all the memories we lost that every other class gets to have. I want everything to just be normal.” –Luke Kelly ’20

Graduating during these historic times has no comparison to what I expected growing up. While a part of me is relieved, the majority of me is saddened by the big events and traditions that my grade and I will not experience. Missing out on our last Bruce Mahoney, senior ditch day, prom, a memorable grad night, possibly graduation, among many other senior activities has been hard to fully grasp. Moreover, spending so much time in the house instead of out with friends making memories has been the most difficult. Although my senior trip is being rescheduled for next year, not everyone will get as lucky. I hope that some restrictions will be lifted soon so that my classmates and I can spend days over the summer making up for lost events! Most importantly, I pray for all the families affected by COVID-19 and that within the next year life can resume relatively close to normal.” -Amira Garvey ‘20

“Speaking on behalf of the Class of 2020, who knew that our graduating year would end with a pandemic. After four years of hard work and success, do not let the sad burden of reality stop you from achieving your goals. Personally, I could never believe that the school year would end like this and I would miss memorable moments of my life like prom. However, we must stay positive and keep adapting to this situation at hand.” –Destiny Silva-Castro ’20

“I keep going back to my thought as I left school on what was to be the last day: I hope they freaking cancel school for two weeks. I’m sick of this. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be going back. I wish I was more grateful for what turned out to be my last day.” –Ella Drennan ’20

“I honestly hate that our year had to end this way. The end of senior year is supposed to be the most fun and rewarding time in high school, yet we were stuck at home for a major part of it. All the hard work every senior put in deserved a graduation ceremony where we could all celebrate together. I would have liked to say goodbye to all the teachers that helped me through school, but I may not get at the chance. At least our class will be remembered in some way, right?” –Lorenzo Giamello ’20

“Going back to school was, in a way, reassuring. It was a rocky day for my emotions, but I knew that everything was going to be okay in the end. On my way to school I got really emotional, but as I stepped foot into school, I somehow felt like everyone was there with me. However, as I set foot onto the 5th floor all by myself, a hall where a couple of friends and I had our lockers and would go to often, I got really sad. That was the last day I would walk onto campus as a high school student. Once I got all by stuff from my locker, I felt a sense of calmness. Even though this year did not turn out at all how we all expected it to, I felt excited for what was to come and extremely proud of myself and all of my classmates because we did it, we graduated!” –Jennifer Herrera ’20

“What I think about this strange time is nothing really. I miss school because being at home makes me lazier and I feel like if I was at school I would be doing better. I also miss school a lot and seeing all my friends and It would feel good to be back in school.” -Hebert Rivas ’20

“Isn’t it funny how you’re still reading this from the comfort of your home? How this isn’t over yet? You would like to imagine that the two-week dismissal was rigid, that we would have come back. It should have ended where everyone chatted about the virus for a bit, but soon it would be old news and life would be back to normal. Why? Because nothing as historical as this has ever happened to us. But history hits everyone, and we have to push through it. We are living in history, just as those did through World War I and II, the Cold War, and the Holocaust. Of course, it may not be as bloody and violent, but that shouldn’t trivialize our emotions and feelings any less. However, just as we learned gratitude for the lives we have had before, we also need to learn gratitude that this pandemic isn’t worse than it is. We can get through this together, Class of 2020. We are stronger than we all think. The resilience and willpower in humans are some of the strongest forces of nature. Hang in there, and believe, hope, love… whatever you do, keeping moving!” -Amy La ’20, Editor-in-Chief of The Emerald