COVID-19: From the Perspective of a Class of 2020 Graduate

By Divya Suresh (’20)

The spread of the coronavirus is well known across the world. Everyone has had some kind of change in their life because of it. But one group of people that have been impacted continuously by this virus is the graduating class of 2020. From club events to traditional senior send-off memories, we have all had to learn how to handle bad news and look on the bright side of difficult times. 

If you ask any senior, they will tell you something different that was canceled due to the virus. Some people lost a final theater show, some a final competition or conference, and some a final concert or exhibition. At IA, the series of cancellations began on March 12th, 2020, with the cancellation of two Spring One Acts shows. After that, many other clubs had to begin to cancel large group events, like Model UN conferences, because the coronavirus was getting worse in Michigan.

The next event that was canceled was Mr. IA. The senior class had put a lot of effort into fundraising and the participants had prepared some entertaining acts. We were all extremely disappointed to hear that Mr. IA had to be canceled, but since it was early on in the pandemic, we still had hope that future events would still go on.

However, as April rolled around, people began to think we would not be going back to school. Although it had not been officially announced, everyone’s hopes for a senior walk-out, prom, and a senior all-night party were beginning to go down. As expected, all of those events were indeed canceled. As disappointing as the news was, we all tried our best to stay positive because we were still so grateful for the memories we made throughout high school. Instead, on the scheduled last day of school (April 24th) we had a grade-wide Google Meet, including teachers and staff, and we spent some time thanking everyone and truly ending the school year.

The biggest cancellation for every single IB student across the globe was the cancellation of the May 2020 IB Exams. The morning that the IB came out with the news, everyone was confused. We were excited because we would not have to experience all the stress that came with the exams, but we were disappointed that all of our hard work these past two years would not be showcased through the exams. We all had so many questions, some of which are still not answered, about the consequences of this decision. How would our grades be calculated? What work will we have to do now? Will we still get college credit for our classes? 

Even though now, in May 2020, we have a better understanding of the situation in terms of grades, IB scores, and some of the senior events, there is one event I have not mentioned. Graduation. Every school district around the country is trying to commemorate the achievements of the class of 2020 in some way, but of course, not in the traditional way. IA has, fortunately, come up with a solution to celebrate our seniors. On June 7th, we will have a drive-in graduation ceremony, where all the students and their families will still be able to enjoy one last time together, celebrating the past four years. 

While all of this news may sound negative, I believe that with this will come a bright future. While we may not have gotten a traditional send-off like the grades before us, we already have so many beautiful memories to cherish in the years to come. We may not have prom pictures and senior-walk out pictures in our college gear, but we have pictures from Olympics and past club events, as well as any other memories we made at IA. We had amazing friends, teachers, and other staff members who supported us through everything, and every single graduating senior is so thankful for that. So, while our senior year may have taken a small twist, we have had so many experiences at IA and we will continue to have more in our future endeavors!

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