Opinion: To My Fellow Seniors

Lily Geiser | Editor-in-Chief

Well, it’s been a wild ride Mason.

There were a lot of ways that our senior year could have ended. I don’t think that anyone had their money on global pandemic, but it is what it is. And I could tell you all about how much it sucks (it does) and how much I miss my friends (a lot) and how much I wish I could finish out the school year in person, go to prom, and graduate normally (so much). But you all already know how I feel, because I know that everyone else is going through the same exact thing.

Every generation has some huge, tragic event that shapes the way they see the world. For our grandparents, it might have been Vietnam. For our parents, 9/11. This is ours. This is the world-shattering, life-changing event that has altered the course of history — that our kids won’t quite understand, that our grandkids will take quizzes on in their history classes. Things are different now. Things are harder now.

And I know me saying “things will get better” isn’t helping anything. A lot of us are hurting a lot right now, for a lot of different, but all completely valid, reasons. But things will get better. Because eventually there will be a vaccine, and we’ll have more widespread, reliable antibody testing, and we’ll know more about this disease. We’ll be able to hug our friends, and go to the movies, and sit down in a restaurant. Things won’t be the same, but they’ll be better.

I’ve never been much for school spirit, and I can’t pretend that this pandemic has changed that a whole lot for me. But however imperfect my time at Mason has been, I can’t deny that it hasn’t given me four pretty awesome years. Freshman year Lily would be shocked at the person I’ve become (and probably a little bit scandalized by my fashion sense). But I’m happy with how these four years have gone. I’ve made a lot of really good friends — some I might keep in touch with for years to come, and some I’ll say goodbye to once I get that diploma (and that’s okay). I tried a lot of new things, and I learned a lot about myself. I grew up.

Whether you hated Mason or loved it, we are all going to remember high school for the rest of our lives. Remember when we thought the “event” was going to be the time B1 caught on fire? Remember when, even in your senior year, you could walk into class and still meet someone new? And remember walking into school on that first day of freshman year, having absolutely no idea where you were supposed to go in that giant labyrinth of a building?

Now, you’re not getting out of this without hearing the list of people I have to thank. Thank you to our administrators, who have been trying so hard to make the best of a bad situation. Thank you to our teachers, who went into overtime putting together modified lesson plans for all of us. Thank you to my family and friends, but most of all, thank you. Whether I loved you or hated you (and whether you loved me, hated me, or have no idea who I am) I’m so glad that I got to go to this school with you. I’m proud of who I am, and I wouldn’t be this person without each and everyone one of you. I hope you’re all proud of who you are too.

This isn’t over yet. We’re probably still going to be on some form of lockdown for another year or so. Some of us may still go off to college, but a lot of us will probably still be stuck here for online classes in the fall. But when it’s over, a big part of rebuilding the world is going to be our responsibility. And I know we can handle it.

(And before we go, I have to wish the Chronicle’s next Editor-in-Chief, Riley Johansen, all the luck in the world. You’re going to have a big job ahead of you Riley, but I have no doubt that you’re going to do an amazing job).