I Did Not Realize

April 10, 2020
Adina Ichilov

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Class of 2020

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I want to tell you a story. This story is about how COVID-19 affected my senior year, without me realizing it. The year that I have worked so hard to accomplish that was taken away beneath me. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - The start of my second semester

I had just gotten back to school after the break. I met up with my best friend in the morning, and we headed to the office to drop off some papers she had. Once we reached the office, all the administrators kept congratulating me. Not knowing what was going on, my friend and I just looked at each other with a face of confusion. When we finally got inside the office, our college and career counselor called me in. I honestly thought it was about colleges. I had no idea of the news I was about to receive. The news that I was going to be class valedictorian. I was in shock for this was the moment I worked so hard for during my entire high school career. That night, with all my adrenaline still pumping, I sat down to write my speech. I went on and on, rewrite after rewrite, and decided I was to not look at it until the last day of school when I would show the principle.

I did not realize that I would never get the chance to say this speech at graduation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - The last day

It is the day before spring break. Of course, everyone is so excited about the break. We are already making plans at lunch to go shopping before the senior trip that weekend and having a sleepover the following weekend. We were saying bye but not the “See you after break ones.” No, they were the “Text me to meet up” or “See you next Friday at the senior trip” ones. 

I did not realize that this was my last time seeing my friends in person.

Friday, March 13, 2020 - The text

At 1:50 in the afternoon, I received a book from my class sponsor. This text said that “with an abundance of caution to help stop the potential spread of illness, our senior trip was canceled.” My heart skipped a beat. Next thing I know, my phone starts blowing up. All my friends are talking about this and how this is just the start. That night, we all facetimed and got our frustration out and convinced each other that this was only for our safety. We all agree not to let this ruin our break, let alone our senior year. 

I did not realize that this was the start of the beginning of the end.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - The letter

As the class of 2020 president, my best friend is in charge of sending out important messages to our class along with the school community. I always help her edit her letters before she sends them to the administration. However, this past letter hit me. It was a letter staying her condolences for the rest of the school year as just like us, she does not know what is in store. A letter mentioning how we are moving to online classes. A letter asking the student body not to lose our hope for the future.

I did not realize that I would not step foot inside my high school again as a student.

Monday, March 24, 2020 - The Instagram account

It is in times of darkness; we must be the light. And that is precisely what I did. I decided to turn my frustration towards COVID-19 and create something from this feeling. I had been struggling with what and how I would get my message across that we cannot let COVID-19 take over our world. Then it hit me after a phone call with my best friend: We would start an Instagram account where we can post letters and poems about how we feel towards COVID-19 and how it is affecting our lives. We came up with the name @fromthiswegrow as it touched us that we are in this pandemic and can only go up from here.

I did not realize that I would need an outlet for my frustration. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - The class

During my virtual English class, we got off topic and began talking about how we all wished this pandemic ended already so we could enjoy the last bit of our senior year, have prom and walk the stage at graduation. We forgot that our teacher was the superintendent, and instead of just listening to us all rant about our frustrations, she chimed in and mentioned how she does not think we are going back to school. She also told us that even if we are to go back, prom and graduation are most likely moved to sometime during July.

I did not realize the extent this pandemic would have on my senior year.

I guarantee you that none of us realized we would end our senior year like this. That when we started school, there was no thought that our senior trip would be canceled. There was no belief that our senior prom would not happen. There was no concept of virtual graduation.

To all the seniors, please hold on to all your hopes and dreams for the future. Yes, right now is not our time, but that time will come. I promise. Just remember we worked so hard to get to where we are, so cherish the moments that you have shared with your class. Think about the positive things to come, not the negative ones that control our lives at this very moment.

Adina Ichilov is a BBG from Sababa BBG #2488 in Lonestar Region #74, who loves photography and traveling.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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