A Message to my Fellow Seniors:

Zara Scaccio, Staff Writer

Some of the best lessons we learn in life are painful. This was easily one of them.

We could choose to look back on the moment Governor Mike DeWine made the inevitable call that would result in a cancelation of our senior year with only frustration, and say, “Why us? Why now?”. We could simply believe that the world is unfair and against us and that that’s that. Yet still–call me crazy–I have a feeling that there is a better approach we could consider instead. I believe that the best way we can get past this adversity is to appreciate all the moments we were granted with, moments we’ll still be granted in the future, and strive to help those in our same situation grow and get past this heartbreak. As stated by teacher Mark Horner in one of his morning vlogs, “These are three questions [Podcaster John Maxwell] asks himself when he’s in a crisis: How will this crisis make me better? How am I going to use it to help others? What action can I take to help somebody else improve?” These questions prompted the creation of this post and my current mindset.

One day, when we’re all grown up and embedded in our future endeavors, we won’t be looking back on our time at Tallmadge High solely thinking about how we felt when DeWine made that “perhaps expected but nonetheless dreaded” announcement. We won’t think about missed Zoom calls or our constant lack of motivation when we’re asked about our high school experience down the line. We won’t be contemplating only the strong emotions we were hit with when we realized we weren’t going back to school, even though that will always be a part of us all. We’ll be remembering all those home football games, all the show choir and cheer competitions and school-related functions we attended, all the clubs during academy we were a part of and dodgeball tournaments and that “wasted” academy time spent in that specific teacher’s room that we loved to talk to. We will laugh about those fun conversations with Mr. Householder always accompanied by a hard pat on the back (and some suspected broken bones). All the unbreakable friendships we made, above anything else, will be what makes us tear up years down the line, not the crisis we’re experiencing now. We’ll remember all those people that helped shape us into who we were meant to be, and we will feel love. So much love. Maybe we’ll even end up calling an old friend to muse over that one teacher or coach that made us feel an immeasurable amount of support still to that day. Yes, even for those who kept to themselves throughout high school, this situation is impactful, too. High school isn’t in any way the peak of our happiness, and there’s a huge world out there waiting to be marked up by all of us, but it does account for something special.

This will take time for us to heal from. The rights of passage we seniors are not able to experience will haunt many of us for longer than we would like to admit. Together we will make something memorable out of these ashes, one day at a time, throughout the rest of this online school year. Let us not forget that this isn’t goodbye to those memories we were able to create and to all that good we’re blessed enough to have once been a part of. None of that good can be cancelled. 

We’re all in this together. Amid the sadness and loss is a whole lot of gratitude.