The COVID 19 global pandemic is affecting everyone differently. Obviously some people have a much rougher go of it right now than others. I admit I am fortunate. I am able to work from home. I live in a region that has relatively low infection rates. I still have toilet paper.
There’s one group of people who is getting a lot of attention for their losses from this pandemic that I think are being greatly exaggerated. And that’s the 2020 Seniors.
First, not all kids are sad that they can’t go to school. By the end of senior year some kids are just over it and ready to move on. As someone who was bullied quite a bit I would have seen the opportunity to NOT see my classmates as a gift from God himself. And yes, there is still bullying going on, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. There are a laundry list of other reasons kids might not want to go to school either. A couple months ago parents heard all of them – some of them on a daily basis!
Second, most kids couldn’t care less about graduation ceremonies. Those are for the parents, grandparents, etc. The speeches are boring, you aren’t likely to be sitting by any of your friends, and the cap and gown are ridiculous looking. Trust me- I’ve walked across a stage 3 times for graduations and if I had been given the option I would have skipped all of them. Most 18 year olds just want the money/ gifts.
Third, prom. A lot of kids don’t go. Some just don’t want to. Some are too shy. Some can’t afford it. It’s not the beat all, end all high school experience some folks and countless movies make it out to be. I have seen folks all worried about kids not having proms that I know for a fact- because I was there- had a MISERABLE time at their own!
I do understand kids- AND adults- want to see their friends. They want to hang out and gossip and do whatever kids do nowadays. But, we are living in an era that offers unparalleled access to friends through technology. Your average teen probably has 10 different apps on their phone right now that they can use to keep in touch with anyone on the planet, many that include video chatting. It’s not entirely the same, but lets recall that a few months ago we were all bemoaning that kids were not doing anything but looking at their phones when they WERE together. Gen Zers are used to communicating this way.
For the record- I’m sure I’m going to get called out for not knowing what I’m talking about because I don’t have kids. But I WAS a kid. I know kids- like my nephew, the neighbor kids, etc. And I know parents. Lots of them. THEY are the ones telling us the sky is falling, not their kids.
I also know that kids are resilient. Kids are adaptable. I truly believe the kids will be alright if we just let them.