In a time that is already full of lasts: last pep assembly, last prom, last goodbye to that favorite teacher, last farewell to the friends you both loved and hated, those lasts became nevers for the class of 2020.

I have been able to call Derby my home for my entire life, and as the years went on I started to develop an idea of what my senior year would look like. I imagined getting to find out who was picked as prom king and queen, planning a senior prank that would possibly make the administration hate us, and thanking all of my teachers for how much they helped me throughout the years.

Of course things don’t always happen as planned, nobody expected March 13th to be our last day of high school. Even though those traditions I had visualized all this time didn’t follow what I thought they would look like, we are still finding ways to keep learning, keep making up for what we lost, and maybe even coming out of this with some new traditions for those after us to use.

COVID-19 has helped show me and the class of 2020 how to adapt in difficult times like this, a skill I know all of us will need in our future. Who knows what challenges we will face going into the world as adults, but now we are more prepared for whatever life decides to throw at us.

Lastly, the thing that we gained the most from this pandemic is the understanding of the importance of our part in our community. Now more than ever we were able to see our community join together to protect each other.

I think we can all admit that I along with the rest of the class of 2020 are in a typically selfish stage of life right now, but this situation has taught us not only to be selfless, but to sacrifice our desires in order to protect the fragile in our community.

Being a part of a community solution like this would have not come for much longer into our futures if it wasn’t for the pandemic, and I hope that we can all pursue this level of compassion for our communities even after the virus is over.

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