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The clock struck midnight as I was scrolling through Instagram, liking all the prom pictures my upperclassmen were posting. The scary thoughts of the SAT and the next day’s calculus test dwindled away as I imagined a night where I could celebrate four years worth of hard work.
But one email destroyed the picturesque scene of the fantasy-filled night.
The United States, like many other nations around the world, is facing thousands of cases of the COVID-19 virus. The virus, which originated from China, has halted life as we know it, raising the death toll at an alarming rate while bringing the economy down to its knees.
However, behind the TV screens of chaotic news channels, lies a group of people sitting in the dark – the class of 2020.
To help curb the spread of the coronavirus, Coppell High School, like many schools throughout the nation, announced the cancelation of prom for the 2019-20 school year. I understand the need for the cancelation, but can’t help to wonder about the memories I’ll be missing out on.
“I just feel like [prom] was an experience everyone should definitely have once,” CHS class of 2019 graduate Aditya Kumar said. “[Prom] symbolizes [how] your high school [career] is kind of over, [and] you’re getting into that whole college phase. It’s kind of like closing a chapter at the end of the book [which] is what prom symbolized for me.”
For most students like me, prom represented a night where I was more than just a child – I could be an adult. It was the first time I would ask someone out, the first time I would have a date and the first time I would wear a real tuxedo.
As you can probably tell, it was going to be a night full of firsts.
Just like me, many other students started preparing weeks early for the night.
“We had planned venues to take pictures at, we had made reservations at [a] restaurant, [and] we had coordinated the whole group kind of thing of where we were going to hang out, where we were going to meet, where we were going to eat, who was taking us to prom and our rides,” CHS senior Amsah Rauf said.
However, many people have been quick to invalidate our feelings by claiming prom is not a big deal. But April 4 was supposed to be the night I got to let loose and experience a lifestyle of independence.
Even though I missed out on a major milestone in my life, if this situation has taught me anything, it’s to let loose and live a little.
Living in a competitive academic nature for the past four years has sometimes made me forget I am a teenager first. Like many of my friends, I would always comfort myself by saying that second-semester senior year would always allow me to experience all the teenager things I wanted to.
“Senior year is supposed to be that moment in time where you just reflect on your childhood, [because] this is officially the end of our childhood,” CHS senior Suprita Ashok said. “We can’t even look at this for high school, we’re done with grades K-12 and this is the time where we think back on that and we just hug our friends and love our friends and we enjoy one last summer together before we pack up. It feels pretty sad that we can’t do that anymore.”
Now that I look back as I type this story in quarantine, I wish I quit worrying about arbitrary things such as imaginary numbers in algebra or figuring out the stages of the cell division process in biology, and instead focused on what’s right in front of me – a life worth living.
Even though the class of 2020 may have lost many memorable events, I can say for sure we have gained an invaluable lesson in return – do what you think is the best for you because there might never be a chance to do it again.
As cliche as it sounds, ask that person out, tell your parents you don’t want to go to medical school and be true to yourself. There’s no way of knowing what can happen in the future, so live your life to the fullest.
Follow Nishant (@Nishantnm1) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.