Saying Goodbye to High School a Struggle for Seniors


Liz Steddin

As you throw your cap into the air and feel the warm presence of everyone who’s helped you reach this point, you realize something. It’s over. The books have been closed, the pencils put down, and the last page of this chapter has been turned. 

For current high school seniors all over the world, this distinct feeling of closure will not be felt. 

Instead, we’ve been sent emails, attended online calls, and have said the final heartbreaking “goodbyes” to our peers and teachers over media sites.

All of this due to COVID-19. 

To many, this makes closure feel unreal or contrived. At Novato High School, prom has been cancelled completely, and the 2020 graduation ceremony has been postponed, which has caused major controversy across the board. Many seniors are upset by this. 

“It feels like this major part of our lives has just disappeared,” says Novato senior Bella Lopez. “Graduation and prom are just things you’re constantly thinking about throughout your life, and to just not have those at all really hurts.”

Many other schools have promised their students both a prom and public graduation ceremony at a later date once safe. Lowell High School in San Francisco is one of these schools. Lowell senior Silas McAllistar weighed in.

“I’m super grateful for what my school is doing. Of course, most of the students at my school feel like they deserve a full graduation celebration so they can walk across the stage while everyone watches, including their family. There’s just no way this could happen under the current climate, so it means a lot that the administration is willing to wait,” he said.

Saying goodbye to high school without being surrounded by peers does not make the closure feel real and leaves a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction. The feelings of community and pride are profoundly altered due to the postponement. To many, a graduation ceremony occuring in the month of August would feel more like a reunion than a commencement, since it wouln’t closely trail the final assignments and goodbyes. However, even if the timing isn’t perfect when these senior events occur, they will still provide students with gratification and closure when they go on to the next parts of life.