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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Senior Reflections: Two CCDS Students Share Their Pandemic Experiences

By Lawson Renie
Cincinnati Country Day Class of 2020
In the wake of the Coronavirus, my senior year has been changed in ways beyond anyone’s anticipation. In the past six weeks, not only has school been shut down, I’ve had to adapt to a quarantine lifestyle, and in doing so, have gained a new appreciation for things I never noticed.

For starters, I’ve come to greatly appreciate my relationships with siblings after weeks of being imprisoned in close confides. The few times I get to leave the house are going to get ice-cream with my siblings and going on long car rides just to talk and cure ourselves of cabin fever.

During the last month, I’ve grown incredibly sympathetic towards only children, who are probably deprived of any sort of social interaction. My mom has been a huge part of our family’s survival during quarantine, because without her we probably would’ve died of starvation well before the Coronvirus got us.

While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, there is plenty of silver lining to the situation. Working from home, my dad is able to spend a lot more time with my siblings and me. For the first time in my high school career, I feel like I’m getting a medically recommended amount of sleep. Speaking of high school, what I miss most is seeing my friends every day at school, in person. Online school is not for me. Having a routine, a reason to remember the day of the week, is something I have learned I struggle to live without. School is one of the places in my life where I spend the majority of my time and having that unexpectedly taken has been difficult. The coronavirus has taken more than school from myself and my classmates.

My graduation has been moved until August, my grad party has been canceled, and my only compensation is a sign in my yard. The spring of your senior year is supposed to be a time to enjoy, a time to celebrate, a moment to make lasting memories with your high school friends before you look ahead to the rest of your life. You only know how much something means to you once it’s gone: this truth has been proven by our graduation, prom, and clap out—all things I never knew I really cared about—being canceled.

The universe had different plans for our senior spring, and another thing I’ve learned from this experience is that some things in life are out of your control. We had no say in any of this, but have been presented with the circumstance nonetheless. All we can do is make the most of the situation that we have found ourselves in, and in doing so, find something positive to take away.

Adapting to the new world, my friends and I have become much better at communicating and preserving relationships from a distance. This gives me a lot of hope for college and the future, knowing that despite physical separation, we still stay connected. Quarantine has been like a scrimmage that has prepared us for being able to maintain friendships from hundreds of miles away. A couple weeks ago, Governor Dewine announced the OHSAA was officially canceling all spring sports. Our track season, which the team had been preparing for before we left on spring vacation, was abruptly canceled.

With this news, the reality of the situation really hit home for the first time because that was probably what everyone was looking forward to most. I love going out to the track after school everyday and talking with my friends, and I wish I could’ve known this past season would be my last. Also on the list of lessons learned from Corona is that nothing is guaranteed. Every time you do anything it could be the last, and you should always treat it accordingly.

In online English class, over the microphone of the computer, our teacher talked about moments in everyone’s lives that will have profound consequences, good or bad, which we can only see upon retrospective examination. Although at this point, I’m not entirely sure what parts of my life I’ll be able to trace back to this crazy time, I think everyone will look back at some point in the future and realize the effect that it had on their outcomes. Especially seniors.

By David Morales
Cincinnati Country Day Senior
The past few months have certainly been different.

This is quite the way for my senior year to end! When the year started I, like any senior, did not think I would end up finishing my year cooped up in my house, away from my friends, and taking online classes. Yet here we are. A lot of activities I love have been taken away in this crisis: school, seeing my friends, sports. However, not all is bad.

They say you only know how much you love something when it is gone and that is truly the case with school. I miss being able to leave my house and go to school, see friends, talk to teachers face to face, and be able to have fruitful discussions. It is not that online classes don’t lead to interesting conversations sometimes, it’s just not the same. I am also bummed about missing my senior spring. I have looked forward to it since the start of my junior year. I couldn’t wait to know where I’m going to college and have a great spring, but now things have changed. No prom, no senior pranks, no clap out. While great efforts have been put forth, it’s just different.

I miss seeing my friends and fellow students. I miss sitting around during free bells at school and hanging out at lunch with my friends. I miss going to movies and getting wings and burgers. Mostly, I just miss being around them. Friends are people you enjoy being in the presence of, without them physically being there it’s tough to get the same friendship out of it.

Finally, I’m very bummed that sports, both professional and high school have been cancelled. Springtime is great for sports fans all around. There’s the draft in the NFL, MLB is starting, March Madness, and the NHL playoffs to enjoy. Well, not anymore. I don’t only miss watching sports, I miss being able to compete in them. I was really looking forward to the track season this year, I think it would have been a lot of fun. I’ve still been running, but as I’ve stated before it just isn’t the same. I don’t get to complain about workouts with teammates, or have the fun bus rides to meets, or hear Mr. Black (my coach) yelling encouraging words during practice and meets. There’s just a lot about being on a team with your friends and competing that you cannot get once you leave high-school.

However, not all is bad right now. I know I’ve mentioned a lot about things I’ve lost, as is the focus of many people right now. Honestly, quarantine has given me a lot of things to appreciate. Since I am a senior and will be going out of state for college, I will not get to be around my family as much over the next four years. In this time however, I get to spend a lot of time with them, and them with me. Although my dad is in quarantine in our basement because he works at Cincinnati Children’s, I still talk on the phone with him more than usual. I get to see my mom and sisters at two meals a day instead of one. Also, my grandparents are quarantining with us, so I get to spend extra time with them.

Quarantine has also allowed me to be grateful for the essential workers out there, people who I don’t normally take special notice of in day to day life. There are the doctors and nurses on the frontlines battling to keep their patients, healthy and safe often sacrificing their own health. Also, the people who are keeping us all afloat including grocery clerks, delivery drivers, restaurant employees, electricians, plumbers, and everyone who continues to go to work to support us and keep the country afloat. So next time you see one of these essential workers, don’t forget to thank them for putting themselves at risk, so we can live relatively normally.

So, while COVID-19 has been tough, there have been some positives I’ve drawn from it. There’s no use in being bitter about it taking away parts of my senior year I was looking forward to, because a lot of other people have it a lot worse. This is just a thing where it is what it is, and everyone has to do their part to help stop the spread so we can get back to normal life.

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