Touring colleges. Making the decision. Repping the choice on decision day. Hanging out with friends. Prom. Celebrating the last exam, the last day, the last class. The last time they’ll ever get to see all aspects of their childhood in one place.

This has been the reality for every other class. But instead of getting excited for their final few months of high school, the class of 2020 is sitting at home alone, practicing self-distancing and watching their bright futures darken.

I was looking forward to so many things. So many things that I will never have the opportunity to do again.

Big things. Graduating. Prom. Taking my last APEX. Attending a meet-and-greet convention for all of the state high school journalists of the year.

Medium things. Recruiting 8th graders to the newspaper staff one last time. Walking through the halls of my elementary school in my cap and gown. Publishing the last print issue of Wingspan. Getting that sweet month of bliss when APEXes are over and it’s just relaxing with friends in every class.

Little things. Saying “Good morning” to Mrs. Hanson every day. Making Tik Toks in Ms. Price’s room. Doing my Mr. Livingston impression to everyone I know. Waving to my friends as I pass them in a hurry in the hallway.

Thinking about how much I miss these things already after three weeks of self-distancing is brutal. Some of these things haven’t even definitely been canceled yet, but I miss their certainty.

This sucks.

Sports are gone. My dance schedule–which usually amounts to 13 hours per week– was crushed to a meager 3.5 and then cut completely. Performances have been postponed indefinitely.

People’s pastimes, people’s hobbies, people’s lifestyles. Things people enjoy doing have all been ruined because of a virus. No one is happy.

If there was a way to prevent it, you’d think people would jump on it in a heartbeat. Nobody is happy with their lives being stripped away.

Scientists are working on developing a vaccine, but the only preventative measure so far is to self-distance. Stay six feet apart from people and avoid leaving the house unless it’s necessary.

Yet my Instagram feed is still filled with people going out with their friends, posting cutesy pictures with cutesy captions.

“Social distancing who?”

“Quarantine got nothing on us!”

“We are not six feet apart…”

If sports and school and extracurriculars have all been canceled, why would hanging out with friends be okay? Social distancing is the only preventative measure anyone can take to make sure the spread of the virus slows–and so many are choosing to ignore it.

It’s no fun to be at home. But it’s selfish to go out and put people at risk for no reason. Yes, this sucks, but to make it suck less, everyone needs to stay home unless they absolutely have to leave.

By: Elise Trexler, Editor-in-Chief

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