The Short End of the Stick

Covid Has Cost Us Our “High School Experience”


I’ve yet to get sick with Covid. Family, friends, teammates, and coworkers of mine can’t say they’ve had the same luck, thankfully each and every one of them experienced mild symptoms and had speedy recoveries. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone in the world. A wide variety of people have received extreme sickness and death. As a whole we sympathize and do our best to protect those suffering the most such as parents losing their babies, elementary students having their field trips canceled, and graduates not being able to walk the stage. Unfortunately not much of anyone else comes to mind.

Have we crossed your minds? We being me. Mostly high school graduating classes of 2023-2025, the “middle men”. We have little to offer to the world, hence we haven’t had the opportunities to accomplish much, but we aren’t helpless little kids, unfortunate young adults or struggling parents. We mostly respond with “I’m fine”, so why would you think we aren’t? You wouldn’t, but we wish you would.

I’ve lived a great deal of my life looking forward to my high school experience. It’s possible my expectations were held at a standard too high, but I truly don’t think they were unrealistic. Everyone we look up to have story on top of story to tell from when they were free-spirited teenagers, when they were who we should be. One of my deepest struggles I deal with internally is the feeling of being left out. A lot of the time I find myself only participating to avoid the overtaking feeling of missing out. I never want to feel on the outskirts. Covid has damaged me into feeling universally left out. 

No, not everyone feels this way on such a deep level, however, I’m sure we can all agree we’ve been handed the short end of the stick. I can’t remember the last time I was allowed to sit around a lunch table with my friends or have a non restricted dance, field trip or sports season. Restrictions made in an attempt to build a wall of health in between us are only destroying our ability to maintain close relationships and make memories.

The constant isolation in school and extra-curricular has caused nearly constant isolation on our own time. Making plans and getting out of the house has never seemed harder, could this be because we weren’t allowed to for so long? High school has lost its life, the generational excuse can be used as much as wanted but we have been programmed to feel, think and act this way. We aren’t lazy, we’ve been taught such habits.

We couldn’t leave our homes to even go to school for months, the world pretty much just took a break. Breaks are nice, but for two years? Nothing will get better from sitting around slumping. The middle men, unnoticed and untouched, feeling like the last years of having innocent fun has been ripped away.

I remember when people told me I could light up a room. The purity of our souls have unfortunately been distanced 6 feet one too many times.