Saturday, September 19, 2020
Sept. 19, 2020

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2020 Union graduate Ashtyn Lopez

The Columbian
Published:

May is a busy time for high school students, particularly seniors. But now, the coronavirus pandemic has canceled sports, competitions and activities, not to mention prom and graduation. What event or activity were you particularly excited for this year? Why is it important to you? How are you feeling missing it?

I was super excited to go to prom! Prom was my favorite part of my junior year because it was so fun dressing up, taking pictures and just such a fun night with all my friends! I feel like senior prom was something all the seniors were looking forward to as kind of the last super fun, memorable night together so it’s definitely sad we have to miss out on it but it’s really cool and makes me happy to see people from not only mine but other schools making their own prom at home!

Many of you talked about the lack of closure this year brought. Tell us about why it’s important to you to have some sense of closure on your educational experience, and what, if anything, you’re doing to make peace with the fact that this period of your life is coming to an end.

It’s important to me to have closure because it’s hard to deal with the fact that we will never get our senior year back and get to experience it how everyone else normally gets to. It’s definitely challenging to have a positive mindset when we didn’t get to fully finish our last year of high school but, everything happens for a reason and that’s what has and will always bring me peace in situations like these where it’s hard to understand the ‘why’ behind it all.

The coronavirus pandemic is an event of global scale and with massive historical implications. But the class of 2020 has lived through a number of other historical events: The 2016 election, the Parkland shooting, a rise in youth activism and more. How have these events shaped you, and how do you think this pandemic will affect your understanding of the world in the future?

These events have shaped me in a positive way actually. Many people look at events with a closed mindset and think negatively, but I feel like it just shows the progress and what we still need to work on. It also shows me that we’re never finished. Once something has reached a solution, it’s not the end. This pandemic has made me realize how strong we are and has made me realize that sometimes “normal” doesn’t work. The pandemic has definitely showed us that, and made us change our ways of being sanitary and sometimes that’s what it takes to make such a big change that I think we will carry with us forever.

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