It was fall 2019. The halls of CB were filled with energetic seniors ready to make the most out of their final year of high school, and the class of 2020 had a strong start to their senior year. With winning the first Holy Bowl in 10 years, storming the field at Hughes Stadium, an […]
It was fall 2019. The halls of CB were filled with energetic seniors ready to make the most out of their final year of high school, and the class of 2020 had a strong start to their senior year. With winning the first Holy Bowl in 10 years, storming the field at Hughes Stadium, an exciting homecoming, a strong volleyball season, and cheering on the football team from the stands and sidelines, “everything seemed so surreal, we had the perfect start to our senior year,” says Grace Ramirez ‘20.
March 13, 2020 was a calm and cool day that soon erupted into chaos. Phones were buzzing with emails from the school telling students to bring home their books from their locker and that they will be online learning for the next two weeks. Students filled the halls, laughing and confused as they walked to their lockers. The seniors packed up their things, went to their cars, and drove home. All of us saw this as “No big deal, we will be back in two weeks”. Nobody realized the severity of this pandemic until those two weeks soon turned into almost a year and half of online learning. The seniors saw the end of their year before they knew it.
After the fateful Friday, things came to a crumbling fall, especially for our seniors. Events were postponed left and right. People were forced to stay home in a quarantine and only leave their house for emergencies. That meant no more in-person learning and no social contact with any outside your immediate family.
“I remember I had a sleepover with all my friends. I had all my stuff packed up before my parents told me I couldn’t go due to this virus,” says Ali Cordano ‘20. “I was so upset to learn that I couldn’t see my friends. I didn’t think that random Friday in March would be the last time I would see everyone in my class.”
Soon enough, prom was cancelled, graduation plans changed, and senior year came to end faster than everyone could comprehend. Graduation was rough for everyone, Olivia Tanberg ‘20 shared.
“Leading up to your senior year, you have all these expectations of what it will be like. Memorial Auditorium filled with people cheering you on, walking across the stage to receive your diploma, and saying final goodbyes to our classmates.”
Christian Brothers tried to give their seniors a good send off while keeping everyone safe. Due to the state of the pandemic, it gave clear guidance about no large gatherings, which included graduation. Seniors walked across a stage in an empty theater with only their immediate family and a few teachers.
“When I walked across that stage in an empty theatre, it felt like the longest walk of my life,” Grace shared. The seniors were happy to at least walk across a stage and receive their diploma, yet what made it harder was knowing that at the end of the walk their high school journey was over without any final goodbyes to their classmates. Their final summer at home was tough because either students were faced with the idea of having their first year of college at home or leaving without being able to say goodbye.
It seemed like almost immediately after walking across the stage to receive her diploma, Ali was moving into her dorm at Texas Christian University and opening a new chapter of her life.
“My summer went faster than expected. The transition from graduation to Texas felt like a blink of an eye,” she said. She was able to experience classes online in the dorms and meet people from her class. With the granted free time from online learning, she joined a sorority to occupy some of her time. Olivia did the same, moving from Woodland to the University of Arizona a month before school started. She moved into her dorm and was able to rush a sorority virtually.
“College is a new beginning for everyone,” she says. “I wanted to feel a part of this community as much as I could. I did not want COVID to prevent me from not being involved with the school.”
Being on campus gave Ali and Olivia ways to be involved and feel like they were growing up into adulthood. However, not everyone was able to move away from home.
Grace was stuck at home with her three younger siblings trying to make the most of the situation. The academics were manageable, but what was she was missing was the new people, new environment, and the overall moving to college experience. Being at home was not all that bad — she shares that she was able to bond more with her family, see friends she had barely seen since that March, and become more appreciative of the memories she has made at CB and in Sacramento.
“Staying home allowed me to spend an extra year more with my high school friends and made the whole situation a little easier,” says Grace.
Between leaving everything behind to staying behind, 2020 was a rocky year for everyone in the Class of ‘20. The takeaway from their experience with the pandemic was that those moments when things were normal will stick with them for life. Our seniors had their whole year turned upside down, which made each of them become more appreciative of the time they did have in their senior year.
Grace Ramirez is currently attending St. Mary’s College and is fully moved into the dorms in early August, ready to begin her college journey. Ali Cordano is a part of a sorority and plays club lacrosse and volleyball for Texas Christian University. Olivia Tanberg attends University of Arizona and is also a part of a sorority. All three of them are fully on campus and ready for what life has to throw at them next.
The end of their high school journey and the start of college taught them a lot about themselves and how this experience has affected them. For some, the months at home made them ready to leave, and for others, they wanted that time back with their friends. No matter what, this experience gave them a whole new perspective on how they viewed everyday life. Today, they see each day as more of a gift, an experience as a blessing, and each memory, new or old, should be cherished. As we have all learned through this, anything can change at any point and you may never truly know what life will throw at you.