My high school career ended some random Thursday. As a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School, I grew up confident that all of this education — the 2 a.m. studying, the social drama, the college search — would lead to that fateful moment when I would walk across the stage, grab my diploma, and find warm, comforting closure. My social and academic story would have a finite end when I said goodbye to friends I’ve known for 12 years and shook an administrator’s hand.
Instead, on March 12, I received an email saying school was done until after spring break. A month later, school was cancelled altogether. That random, arbitrary Thursday was the last day I saw faces I’d known for more than a decade. I, like every other senior, crave closure. We’ve had enough sleepless nights over lost senior traditions and unmade memories. At the very least, I just want the chance to say goodbye to familiar friendships rather than have them go abruptly silent.
The administration can do something about this. It can promise that whenever this is done, in a week or a year, we will have an in-person graduation. So much of this meaningful period in our life has been stolen from us by the pandemic. Just allow us to find some closure in seeing friends one last time to say goodbye in person. Otherwise, I feel like parts of me will still be wandering these halls years from now, incomplete, with no real end to my story.