COVID-19’s Lasting Impact on the Class of 2020

Quarantine robbed seniors of long-anticipated milestones like prom, graduation, and more.

Friends+Schools+class+of+2020+gathers+in+front+of+Forbush+Hall+in+September%2C+2019.

Courtesy of Luella Rubin-Wylie

Friends School’s class of 2020 gathers in front of Forbush Hall in September, 2019.

From freshman year (or earlier), Friends School students look forward to the special events of their senior year, like the first day of school, their last day on the sports field with their team, prom, graduation, and more. Unfortunately, this school year, many of these events were taken away from the class of 2020 by the necessary physical distancing due to the Coronavirus. They no longer had the chance to experience these events that some of them had been looking forward to since Lower School.

On March 12, the student body received a text saying that after school activities were canceled, as was school the next day. Students were running through the halls cheering, as they believed that this would be a fun extension to spring break. But this was soon disproved. Now, March 12 is considered to be one of the last normal days before the reality of living in a global pandemic consumed people’s lives.

That day, students who had attended Friends for as long as 15 years had their last day without even knowing it. Their sudden loss of the last few months of school was upsetting for many reasons.

“I’m most upset about not being able to spend these last few months of high school with my friends,” says Senior Meg Van den Beemt. “We are all going to different colleges next year, and senior spring was supposed to be the time where we could make their last memories together.”

This is an opinion that appears to be shared widely throughout the class of 2020. Other seniors are also deeply upset by the loss of their spring sports season, their last opportunity to put on a Friends uniform and play for their school.

But not all hope is lost for the class of 2020. The administration has been working tirelessly to allow learning to continue and for the seniors to experience a few key events of their senior year – though events like graduation will likely not proceed as normal.

The school’s transition from in-person learning to online learning provided a host of new problems, but the school still took care to ensure the wellness of the student body – and tried to make up for what the seniors have lost. They’ve delivered cookies, packages, and signs to the class of 2020. In addition to this, they’ve been communicating with the senior class in the hopes of having some form of graduation ceremony that both complies with physical distancing rules, and feels special enough to mark the culmination of the class of 2020’s time at Friends.

The Friends School community will miss the class of 2020, and we hope to see you back on campus in the years to come.