Living through the COVID-19 pandemic: a local Grade 12’s perspective

Above, this year's North Dundas District High School's (NDDHS) Minister of Communications, Carley Milne-Servage. Courtesy photo

by Carley Milne-Servage
NDDHS, Minister of Communications

This year’s second semester started out just like any other; students started their new courses, continued working their part-time jobs, and found time for hobbies and friends. Senior students were ready to finish their last round of credits, and were heading towards their exciting final year events, including, but not limited to, prom and graduation. Now, after less than two months of semester two, all students are unable to attend school, and many are left without their jobs. 

This global pandemic has resulted in our country participating in self-isolation for public safety. This means that schools are closed, events are cancelled, and people are advised to only leave their homes for essential reasons. Where does this leave our senior class? At the beginning of this year, we were all looking forward to finishing our last year of high school and then ultimately preparing for our future, whether this meant heading to college or university, or taking a year off to work, travel, and figure out the next step. Now, there is so much uncertainty surrounding the near future, and teens are finding themselves unsure about what the end of this school year will look like, let alone the beginning of the next one. 

I am a grade 12 student at North Dundas District High School. I have been asked to write about my perspective and the experience of teens during this unfamiliar time. I am staying home with my parents and siblings, and my workplace is closed as it is not an essential service. Everyone is facing their own, personal hardships regarding this situation right now, regardless of age. I, in particular, am not working, and therefore am not able to make money to go towards my schooling. On the other hand, I have a friend whose job is considered an essential service, so she is still working and putting herself at risk every day, which is stressful as well. Our graduation ceremony, which was supposed to take place in June, has been postponed to the fall, and we are expecting a similar outcome for our prom. As someone who has been waiting for her prom for years, and has already bought her prom dress, this is extremely disappointing. Our school prom committee has been planning and fundraising for our prom since the beginning of the school year, so having to reconsider those plans that we’ve worked so hard on has been difficult. I do believe that we will get a chance to wear our prom dresses and celebrate, but it does seem like a waste of a lot of hard work. 

This was not what any of us expected our final months of our senior year to look like. It is extremely hard to watch the things that you have been looking forward to for years be cancelled and postponed. The most important thing right now is to stay home, stay in contact, and stay positive. We may not have the experiences we wanted to have this year, but we are certainly not alone. The sooner we all work together and follow the guidelines that have been put in place, the sooner this can all be over and we can make up for lost time.

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