High school seniors reflect on their fun, busy lives upended during shutdown

Vernon. Some students are stoic, resolved to do their part to keep a dangerous pandemic under control. Some are worried, and others long for the day when they can get their old lives back.

Vernon /
| 07 Apr 2020 | 12:26

Life as we know it has been drastically altered because of the coronavirus. Being a high and mighty high school senior has always had perks like senior trips and proms, and rites of passage like driving and becoming an adult 18.

Students are understandably upset about the cancellation or postponement of Disney trips and even the "Pomp and Circumstance" of graduation.

Danielle Costa was among several Vernon Township High School seniors who shared their thoughts on the devastation of the COVID-19. She says the sacrifice of staying home minimizes the damage of the pandemic, and that’s okay with her.

“We can’t compromise the health of our community,” she said.

Carlie Van Tassel referred to COVID-19 as "the unknown." The situation has its upside, like spending time with family and accomplishing overdue tasks.

“We’re in the books now," Carlie said. "Let’s make it a positive story."

Andre Vitrano thinks the shutdown makes life and daily routine boring.

“I missed out on my last season of track," he said. "I wish this was all over with."

Senior Hannah Van Blarcom is worried. She is keeping her fingers crossed in the hope of this pandemic ending soon.

“It’s funny how we take a million things for granted," she said.

Talia Capasso hasn’t seen her friends in weeks. She misses her teachers. She can’t wait to sit in class again, walk down the school halls, put on her prom dress and go dancing, and smile as she accepts her high school diploma.

“All I want is my life back,” she said.

These are all sobering thoughts. Yet we believe in the strength and resiliency of our youth, and that everything will work out for the best. As the Japanese philosopher Daisaku Ikeda said, “History has always been shaped by the power of youth.”

“It’s funny how we take a million things for granted." --Hannah Van Blarcom