An open letter to the class of 2021…

Senior+year+blues.+Editorial+cartoon+by+Bianca+McCarty

Bianca McCarty

“Senior year blues.” Editorial cartoon by Bianca McCarty

The Bear Facts Staff

Dear friends,

Our bond is one of forced proximity, years and years of seeing the same faces in math classes through drooping lids, and laughing over things that won’t be funny in a week. You don’t know the girl who sat next to you in Ms. Thomas’ biology class freshman year very well. Yet, she tilts her paper towards you when you’re fumbling for the homework you forgot to do. And if the roles were reversed, she knows you’d do the same for her.

We all know the concept of trauma bonding, and maybe that’s why leaving holds the bittersweet pain that every high school graduate knows too well.

Yes, high school is a battlefield, but your classmates are your comrades.

We haven’t truly seen each other’s faces since March 13th, 2020. And sure, we’re luckier than most; we got to be together again. Together again for sleep-deprived laughter, knowing glances during class, and most of all, the strange and wonderful community we’ve developed. For most of us, it’s been six years (or more) of simple coexistence. We grew up together, and that is nothing to scoff at.

There’s no denying that a year of youth was stolen from us. Isn’t senior year supposed to be The Year? Weren’t we supposed to go to parties and get to know people we hadn’t before? Wasn’t this our last year before the responsibilities of college struck and we were splintered into 65 pieces?

Maybe the biggest thing we have to come to terms with is that it will never be this way again. Never again will we rejoice at the chance to watch a movie in class, or lament over a denied request for the bathroom.

Our situation is a unique one: we mourn all that was, and all that couldn’t be.

Our last homecoming.

A prom, junior or senior.

Crowding the student section for the Holy War.

Playing those terribly embarrassing pep rally games.

A standing ovation after the spring musical.

Is there really closure in this? How could high school be over when so much didn’t happen? Can we walk the stage knowing that so much is left undone?

The answer is yes, we can, because there is so much to rejoice in.

No, things won’t ever be the same again, and we’ll be cast afar to different colleges in different states, but in our souls, in the very infrastructure of our being, we’ll always be Bruins.

 

With love,

The Bear Facts Staff