In the Midst of a Pandemic

Class of 2020 shares thoughts on remote learning, the end of an era and the unifying force regarding the future

Owen Stocker and Rachel Dvorchak

Well there it is: Senior year has finished just as fast as it began. COVID-19 has shortened was supposed to be one of the best years of our lives so far. We might not have realized it, but March 13, 2020 was the last day we took classes at 525 7th St NE, North Canton, OH — Hoover High School.

Walking through the halls, seeing some of your favorite teachers will never happen again because of something no one could have stopped or prevented. Commencement was once taken for granted, but now we must look on from our cars as we pick up our diplomas and cap and gown in a drive-thru scenario. Students all across the nation and the world are doing the same thing as Hoover High School.

Several students have personal stories about how they felt about the initial three weeks off of school, considered an “extended spring break” which then turned into the rest of the academic school year being canceled.

Senior Jaideep Seth was asked about how his mood changed from the initial three weeks of no school to its current state.

“During the first three weeks, I was very hopeful that we would be back at school in April, and that everything would go back to the way it was,” Seth said. “However, when school was completely canceled, I was disheartened that I would not get to see friends that I normally don’t see. It all felt very unreal that I would be finishing school from home.” 

Seth was also asked about whether he has kept in touch with classmates as many of us will end up doing very different things and go to different universities and colleges for the fall of 2020.

“I have been using group FaceTimes and Zoom calls. In addition, from time to time, I will go outside to see some friends from a distance,” Seth said.

Knowing you can never finish you expecting to finish and working several years to meet that finish line can be a depressing thought. Senior Logan Corbit spoke about possible regrets he had about knowing he will not return to high school.

“Of course I have regrets; however, in these circumstances I’ve become quite alright knowing that there’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.

Another thought is how commencement will take place with social distancing guidelines in place. Obviously an online commencement is the first thing that comes to mind, but the idea seems to be unpopular with graduating seniors as they want to be recognized personally for their 12 years of hard work and dedication.

Seth and Corbit shared their opinions on the matter, and answers seemed to both have one message tradition.

“I think that graduation should be conducted in a way that recognizes all of the seniors’ hard work while still maintaining proper guidelines,” Seth said. “One way I think this could be possible would be to allow seniors to sign up for a time to walk across the graduation stage. This would allow the families to possibly be there from a distance and would also let the seniors still participate in the tradition of walking the stage.”

Seth obviously wants the Class of 2020 to be honored in the best way possible instead of just sitting back and having commencement done through the internet.

“Personally, I would like an opportunity to walk across a stage. However, I’m well aware that this decision doesn’t come down to what our administration thinks, more so what health officials are saying. At the end of the day, whatever the decision is I won’t be too upset.”

NCCS spent much of May honoring the Class of 2020, from “Salute to Seniors” the week of May 4, where staff members (maintaining social distancing guidelines) lined 7th Street as students drove to the stadium to hear/see their names announced, to Pav’s ice cream to graduation photos by appointment the week of May 11, to walking the stage by appointment the week of May 18. Staff members also sent well wishes to the Class of 2020, which were published on the district’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The Lunch Ladies celebrated the Class of 2020 with a “Turkey Gravy Day” May 14.

As we look at the calendar and emails roll in from our teachers about finishing assignments and the uncertain future — just know that we will get through this and we always have this to keep us together for the rest of our lives. ♦