Senior discusses changes caused by Covid-19


Emily Strenski, Editor-in-chief

Since the beginning of my freshman year, I have been counting down to graduation. Even though I have been ticking days off steadily, it still feels as though my time in high school has sped by. With the graduation date being moved up a week to May 15, walking across the stage and flipping my tassel feels that much closer. 

Every senior activity I participate in, ranging from fundraisers to taking my senior pictures, makes the prospect of graduating feel more real. One day I walked into Mrs. Willett’s office to sign into second period and all of our caps and gowns were sitting in a box on her floor ready for us to pick up. A few of my classmates were already in there, and we all just looked at each other with disbelief and anticipation. We started figuring out whose tassel we would flip and who would flip our tassel at graduation right then and there. 

Thinking about leaving this school has prompted me to look back on the years I had spent here, and it has also made me look to the future more and more. 

And then Covid-19 hit, and suddenly our senior year was thrown completely out of whack. 

Since the coronavirus has spread, it has forced our school to switch to online classes. All UIL activities have been suspended until May 4, and since the class of 2020 is due to graduate on May 15, the chance of getting to participate in UIL has all but disappeared completely. 

My heart is heavy for my classmates who won’t get their final baseball, softball, track or golf season that they were looking forward to making their best. I won’t get my last chance at competing on the state level in UIL academics. I’m not even sure when our senior prom will be. 

If self-quarantine has taught me anything, it’s taught me to appreciate things while I have them. While I’m still holding out hope that I’ll get one last UIL academic season, if I had known that last year might have been my last, I would have stopped to look around and truly take it in. I would have appreciated how well I did and how far I had gotten. I would have been proud of it. 

I also feel for the senior PALs. I would honestly give anything right now to ask Ms. Rowe if we really had to go get our PALs, and then be happy when she said yes. I miss my kids, but when we go back to school, I know that I’ll appreciate what little time I have left with them so much more. 

Online schooling is not that fun. I would love to be sitting in Mr. Crowley’s classroom listening to one of his many stories or in the band hall rehearsing my last spring concert that probably won’t even happen now. I miss being with my classmates, and while we were all counting down the days until our final “see you all later’s,” we were definitely expecting to have more of them than we do now. 

There are many things about Archer City that I will miss: my friends, my teachers, PALs and much more. I will miss our community that comes out to support our school every time there’s a game or competition. I think I will also miss the close-knit feel of this school. Texas Tech is a big university, and it will be absolutely impossible to know everyone there. 

While there are many things that I know I will look back on in the years to come, I am also very excited to see what my future holds.

As graduation draws near (if we even have a traditional graduation now), I find myself thinking about the next four years. While I am nervous, I’m also so excited. Being in a completely new city is terrifying, but it also fills me with the prospect of new possibilities. I can’t wait to meet my roommate and decorate my new home. I’m also super excited for my classes and to march in the Goin’ Band from Raiderland. Meeting new friends is also a big source of excitement for me as well.

Graduating only brings this new chapter of my life that much closer, and the anticipation is very strong. I’m going to miss Archer City, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of my classmates as we go our separate paths.