It seems as if everyone’s lives have hit a brick wall since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Recreational activities came to an abrupt halt, some people no longer have a job to go to and schools all across the country shut their doors for the last time this school year.
For a lot of students, the news that schools would be moving to remote education was heartbreaking, especially for the seniors, both in high school and in college. What was originally the same old routine with a touch of wariness is now a path through uncharted territory as we must attempt to complete our education through screens and webcams, and for the seniors, it is a loss of all the final moments they may have with their friends.
In high school, seniors seem to have all the fun. While preparing for college, they take advantage of the freedom that is a new license and a car and go about the town with their friends, making memories to hold on to when they split up for higher learning. At school itself, they bond over senior prank days, prom and senior year traditions. Suddenly, they do not have that anymore; the final moments to be shared with their friends is through a computer screen.
For college seniors like myself, that feeling is seemingly magnified. There were jokes prior to Rider switching to remote education of “this could be our last dinner together,” or “goodbye in case I never see you again.”
Those jokes soon came to fruition, as now we are all distant from one another. Not only that but the moments that senior students are supposed to cherish dwell in uncertainty. We worry about the commencement ceremony not because we want the piece of paper, but because we want to revel at the moment all the hard work leads up to. We miss the Spring events like ArtBeast, Rider Rock Fest or even the little things like sitting outside with friends listening to music.
If there is anything that this pandemic has taught me, it is that social distancing is hard on the emotions. While we can still talk to friends and family through a variety of video conferencing platforms, there always seems to be a delay in statements that causes a disconnect between people. Nothing beats sitting with friends and family in person, laughing hysterically at some joke or having a serious enough conversation where all the background noise seems to silence itself.
While social distancing is hard, and one can go stir crazy sitting around their house long enough, it is important we keep doing it to flatten the curve. State officials opening beaches, like in Florida, are not helping. People protesting that they do not want to be locked in their homes are just as detrimental.
It is hard to separate ourselves from those we love most and to deny ourselves the leisurely activities we want to do outside of our homes, but we must do what is necessary to save lives.
When this pandemic finally reaches its end — whenever that may be — the reunions will be that much sweeter. Even though we may be missing out on great memories, this time has reminded us just how much we love spending time with others and how much we cherish the moments we have with our friends and family. For now, leave the beaches and parks empty – they will be full of joy and laughter before we know it.