Vision for class of 2020 anything but clear

Tracy Area High School’s Class of 2020 has found out the hard way that there will be nothing normal about the culmination of their high school careers.

By Per Peterson

If there is one lesson Tracy-Milroy-Balaton’s Class of 2020 has learned outside of the classroom this spring, it’s to take nothing for granted.

The threat of COVID-19 in March shuttered school doors all over the country, and the ripple effect has touched everyone, including school administration, staff and students. And no group of students will be more personally affected by all that has happened than this year’s senior class.

The closing of the high school left seniors with many questions and scant answers. All they could do when schools closed down was speculate as to what’s to come — or what’s not to come, as it is.

What about prom? What about graduation? What about Senior Awards Night? What about spring sports?

What about reveling in the days and months they have looked forward to for so many years? While there’s still no telling whether or not school doors will open again to allow kids to finish out the year, this year’s seniors are already missing the time of their lives.

“I honestly can’t believe any of this is happening,” said TAHS senior Carly Holland.

Holland is one of a number of Spanish students who lost out on the experience of a lifetime — the Spanish Club’s annual trip to Spain. And a trip overseas is just one of a number of life-defining moments the kids who make up the Class of 2020 are on the verge of losing because of the state’s mandate to keep school doors closed in an aggressive effort to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in Minnesota.

“I never would have thought of having my last track season or even prom being cancelled… maybe even graduation,” said Holland. “I am sure all of us seniors could relate when I say that this was going to be our year. This was supposed to be our year to walk across the stage. This was supposed to be our year to write little notes on the back of our senior pictures for all the younger kids that looked up to us. There are so many things that all of us were looking forward to, and now everything is getting taken away due to the coronavirus.”

Mariah Mayer said she has always looked forward to her senior year — a big step in the staircase of life. Even though she, like so many other high school students, once joked about not being able to wait to get that final year of high school over with now, in retrospect, she has a hard time accepting a new kind of ending is imminent.

“This is not how I wanted it to end,” she said. “I started my senior year knowing this was going to be the best year, the year I’d never forget. My friends and I had become closer than ever (last) summer and we were ready for our last year together.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.