Dealing with the virus

A senior reflects on her journey and future


Anna Eggers, Co-editor-in-chief

Growing up, I remember not having that much money. I remember my dad coming home exhausted from driving salt trucks at night, doing commercial lawn care and pulling doubles delivering pizzas. 

I spent the first part of my life living in an area that was constantly looked down upon and considered trashy, and it made me feel like I was too. My childhood home there was infested with black mold. I think my family is ashamed to admit that. When I started to get diagnosed with respiratory issues and my parents found out the seller had left out that crucial piece of information, they uprooted our lives and gave up that house they had put all of their money into. 

It’s hard for me to see the shame in that because I knew my parent’s number one goal was to keep my brother and I healthy, even if our financial situation had to suffer. But since then, I’m not even sure if I can count the number of houses I’ve lived in on my fingers because I’ve stopped counting. I’ve struggled with accepting my background and believing I could do more for a while. Even now, looking to the future, I have doubts that I can get myself out of this cycle. 

However, standing where I am now with all of the experiences I have had during high school, there’s nothing I can do except be thankful to those who’ve helped me and be proud of what I’ve been able to achieve in spite of those challenges. 

About a week after my sophomore year ended, my family learned that we had less than a week to move out and find a new place. With one eviction already under my parent’s belt from a year or two prior, having a second made it impossible to find a new house in the days they gave us. We packed our lives into storage units and slept spread across different relatives’ houses. 

That period of two months I spent feeling disconnected from my family and my pets was the worst experience for me during high school, until now. Sitting at home, watching moments I could have spent with friends drop like flies every day because of distance, feeling hopeless and unmotivated — I thought I would never have to feel like that again, but it happened. I would say at least I’m not the only one having to deal with it this time, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Us seniors are struggling right now. It feels like everything is being taken from us and we have no idea how much we’ll have to give up. At the same time, we have to continue doing all of our school work and act like we’re not freaking out internally because the world is on lockdown. I’ve heard stories from my friends and from online of seniors graduating early, classes going to P/F systems. 

Alternatively, I’ve heard of scheduled and school regulated video classes teaching students every single day, and expectations that finals and all other school activities will go on as usual despite the location change. 

I feel like everybody is lost right now on what to do so it makes sense to me that somehow we’ve managed to fit directly in between the extremes of the current situation. Limited direct instruction, teachers MIA, reducing workloads yet still having an expectation to complete all of what has now become busywork that our emotionally numb brains just want to avoid. Our world is falling apart, we can see it happening in every part of our lives.

I continue to work on what I need to finish to get through this year. I sit watching videos and filling in blanks, hoping that I’ll be prepared for the one thing making me want to keep going — college. Which, frankly, is starting to seem a little bleak as well. 

Throughout all of the challenges I’ve faced, that has been what moved me forward. College has been advertised as a magic door that can take you from the world of poverty into comfortable salaries with a guest room. Now, I’m starting to question if that’s really who I am.

With nothing better to do, I sit on my phone and glance at the Tiktoks popping up in my Instagram feed. Teens complain about being quarantined while sitting in in-ground pools and chasing pets around houses that seem endless. Have I been longing to be a part of society that I may never feel comfortable in?

It’s a difficult question to ask yourself, but it’s just human nature to have a moment of confusion and doubt for the future. After spending so much time working towards something, it’s easy to get caught off guard when it doesn’t match up exactly to what you had envisioned. 

My future may still seem like a big question mark to me, but at least I’ve finally realized what I’ve been working for all along. It’s not actually the physical existence of that extra guest room or that salary, it’s the privilege of not having to worry about how I can fulfill my family or I’s needs. And I’m starting to have hope that one day, I’ll be able to do that.