A word from the class of 2020
Over the past month, we have watched our world crumble into something until now we’d only read about in history books. All major sports canceled, movies halting productions and being pulled from theaters, every theme park closed until further notice, weddings being canceled. Everyone has something that this situation has taken from them. For the class of 2020, this virus has stolen their senior year of high school away from them. No prom, no graduation, no getting to savor those last few months with friends and teachers or even get to say goodbye. Here’s what some of our very own Northland seniors had to say about this situation.
“As a kid, you go through all these years of schooling and you look forward to when it is over simply because nobody really likes school. That is exactly how I was for so long. My name is Kylie Congden and I am a senior at Lake Mary High School. I, like many others, wished for school to end and wished for even my senior year to be over before it started just so I could be done. It wasn’t until this whole Coronavirus Pandemic began that I truly realized all that I was not getting to fully experience. At first, I had the mindset of “Oh, that’s great because now I get a longer spring break!” The more school got pushed back the more I began to miss in my senior year.
At this point, my senior week of fun dress-up days and activities has been canceled. My last prom has been postponed until who knows when and my graduation has been postponed until maybe summer? I’m not even sure to be quite honest. I have been strong in front of others saying that it is not a big deal that events have been canceled and that everything will be fine. However, when I am alone I see posts and videos about how other seniors feel and about the truth of the matter and it really makes me sad and sometimes brings me to tears. High school is without a doubt the most fun, exciting, and interesting four years of schooling because you learn and grow so much and make so many new friends. Senior year festivities come after everything you have been working for over the past twelve years and now it’s just being taken away.
It has been an incredibly rocky experience, but lately, I have been working extra hard to trust God and what he is doing in my life. Sometimes I just want to say ‘why me, why me God? I’ve worked so hard and have been looking forward to all of this, so why me?’ I already don’t get to see my friends when I am away at college and now I can’t see them because we have to be in quarantine. It all just does not seem fair. I know He is doing all of this for a reason though. I have learned quite a few things during all of this. One being that family time is the greatest blessing during quarantine and that I will truly miss it during college. Another lesson being that I am incredibly lucky to be as healthy as I am. I definitely will never take simple things like school for granted, again. I am starting to take this pandemic as a time of rest and to sit back and trust God with my whole life more than I ever have. He already knows what is in store for me and I know everything will be okay in the end because He is good. “ - Kylie Congden
“Hi! I’m Morgan Davis, a senior at Oviedo High School. I am on the varsity lacrosse team, very involved with YoungLife, an honors student, and excited to be going to my dream school Berry College in Rome, Georgia next year. I would never have imagined that my senior year would be taken away from me due to a worldwide pandemic, yet God has proved to me multiple times that He is in total control of the little things as much as a virus affecting every life on earth.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have gone on the Epic Trip with Senior Life Prep. I made so many incredible friendships and made a lot of memories that I won’t forget anytime soon. It challenged me, helped me grow, and taught me a lot about myself and my faith. The world seemed to be working just fine, every place open for business and people still out and about, with a few exceptions like the closed salsa bar at Moes and the checkers table at Cracker Barrel with no checkers. We saw a few things on twitter or news articles every few days but didn’t really give it too much thought. The one thing that shook me was a picture I got from my lacrosse coach the night we arrived in Alabama, a picture of all the other nine lacrosse seniors with flower bouquets in hand with the idea that we didn’t know what the rest of season was going to look like or when our last game would be. It was the first glimpse I saw of my senior year being taken away one event at a time.
After one of the best weeks spending time with people I had grown to love, I was so excited to share every detail of the week with my family when we pulled in at 1:30 AM to the rink. Arriving at home felt quite honestly like a slap in the face. Being told I needed to wash my hands, Lysol everything in my bag, being told I wasn't allowed to leave the house, see my friends, couldn’t have a day of my now three-week long spring break at the beach, and hear that I probably wasn’t ever going to step foot back in my high school again was a bit of a shock, to say the least. My heart was in denial and my brain couldn’t really process the idea that I wasn't going to be able to hug my friends for months, have a nice dinner at my grandparents’ house catching up and telling them all of my Epic Trip stories, have an Easter Sunday service, experience senior week activities, have senior night on the field, play my last high school rivalry game, have my senior prom, or walk the stage at graduation. There was going to be no Grad Bash, Honors Graduate Night, small group, senior YoungLife club, or senior skip day.
After the first few days at home passed, I started to embrace the idea of quarantine. As an introvert, I was ready to finally be able to recharge and resurface hobbies that I had gotten too busy for. I started baking again, reading again and got to spend time with my sister who got the bittersweet surprise of spending her last semester of her junior year as a Baylor medical student at home with her family. My dad is now working full time from home and mom, who is a travel agent, now has a little more time on her hands to do some reorganizing and spend time with her daughters. The world was slowing down a little more each day and I was learning just how much a virus can penetrate into the lives of everyone. Cases are doubling every day, the death toll is increasing, states are on lockdown, and nurses and doctors are working hour upon hours but can’t return home at the end of the day because they don't want to expose their family to the virus. I think what affected my heart the most was the pictures of patients in hospital beds connected to countless tubes that you can’t even see their faces, elderly couples separated by a glass wall holding happy birthday signs, and nurses and doctors with bruises on their face while sleeping on the floor of hospital wings. These images made me realize how much this is going to impact our world, and how staying home is a small sacrifice each one of us has to make to help the world turn again. Yet this newfound time at home is a time for families to have quality time together, watch movies, make meals together, play games, reach out to family and friends over facetime, and most importantly spend devoted time in the word each day because now time isn’t an excuse for why we aren’t spending time with the Lord. This new pace of life is different for everyone, yet I hope that we do take a few things away from this odd time that we will one day get through. It is inspiring to see all of the love being shown to nurses, grocery store baggers, janitors, and many more who are on the front lines. Social media has allowed people to share their stories, celebrities are doing at home concerts, John Krasinski started a news channel called SGN (for Some Good News), and comedy hosts are making people laugh by filming their shows at their own home. My hope is that even though everyone lost something because of this pandemic, we can better appreciate the time being present with those that we love and have a better understanding of how powerful the God of the Universe is. He is loving, good, full of grace, and has the most perfect timing. We might not understand what He is doing now, yet I am praying that by the end of this we can better resemble what the early church looked like. Acts 2:42-47.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer... All the believers were together and had everything in common.They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
I definitely did not see this coming for the class of 2020, but we know that this too shall pass. If you know a current high school senior, I encourage you to reach out and pray for them for closure, hope, and a reminder for a bigger purpose. God is good and I hope we can remind each other when in need of a little hope and encouragement. Be love to others and God will take care of the rest. “ - Morgan Davis
“For a few months now I have been counting down the days until senior year would finally be over. I wasn’t enjoying every little moment, I was too worried about the future. Little did I know I wouldn’t be able to experience senior prom or high school graduation like every other class before ours. Personally, during this time of social distancing, it’s been like a roller coaster. At first, I was so excited to have a little time off of school. However, I started to realize that this pandemic was getting really serious and my mindset flipped. I was now stressing out because I couldn’t see my friends anymore and I had to finish my senior year of high school online.
Although this time has allowed me to connect with my family, friends, and God like never before, I wish I wouldn’t have taken the little moments of my senior year for granted. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that I need to cherish and go through every day like it’s my last one because you never know what could happen.” - Taylor Riel
“As a senior, these next few months were the last I would have with friends, teachers, and senior activities. Due to coronavirus, these things are no longer possible and that hurts a lot. I miss going to school every day, walking the bustling halls, seeing classmates, and learning together. I miss my teachers, my friends, and socializing. I miss getting up at 5am and going to Starbucks or mornings spent hanging out in the parking lot. It’s crazy how we take these simple things for granted because I would give anything to be able to walk the halls again, enjoy funny moments in class, and most of all participate in senior activities. Although I can appreciate the slower pace of life, along with getting a break, I miss my life. I miss the simplicity of target runs, group bible studies, going to the beach, and Disney. I know our schools and communities are trying their hardest to recognize the Class of 2020 and figure out ways to still have activities. I have hope in that, and I have hope that one day life will return to normal. I have faith in our Father that he will heal the sick and take this evil away. I have hope that one day I will get to see my teachers, classmates, and school friends again.” - Abby Murphy
“Being a senior this time of year is especially tough. Many of us are questioning what life is going to look like once the COVID-19 ’terror’ is over. But for some of us, we are asking the question, “what is it mean right now?” A lot of us seniors feel brokenhearted, cheated, frustrated, lonely, and maybe even defeated. From time to time I ask myself certain questions that only leave me feeling unfortunate. Is prom really canceled? Why can’t I go to California with my entire senior class anymore? Is it true that my zoology class really can’t go to the Animal Kingdom together? Do you think I’m even going to have a graduation ceremony? Will I even see my senior classmates when this is over? All these questions rush through my head continuously and can be almost crippling.
Fortunately, through this entire thing, I’ve had plenty of time to do much soul seeking. Two things I’ve taken out of my so-called quarantine time are: first, this time at home has allowed me to truly love and cherish my family, and secondly, I’ve been able to follow one of God's wishes for me. And that is the wish to remain still.
Staying at home has given me the time to be with my family and truly be thankful for how much they invest in me. Next year is going to look completely different for me as I leave for college and even move into my own house! I’m very excited for the next steps of my life. But this unexpected time at home has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve been able to love my family and cherish the moments I have with them before I start my new path of life. I wake up every morning excited to see their faces and even more excited to just spend time with them. It’s taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture that makes me so thankful for (what seemed like a curse) staying at home!
Remaining still has definitely been hard for me. But I feel like God has made it very clear that He has wanted me to take these steps. Spending time in His word every single day, exercising outside, gardening, and even playing with my dog has shown me the joy of living life a little slower. As an avid 3 on the enneagram, I live life at a NASCAR pace. Constantly running from here to there, focusing on my sport, working, making money, applying for scholarships, working out consistently, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, making sure all my animals are taken care of, it’s exhausting! But as a very self-disciplined highschooler I taught myself it was the normal thing to do – it was normal to live so fast pace. And for many of you, you can agree with this! Band practice after school, and after that drama practice, and after that homework, and after that more band practice, and after that... you know how it goes! But I think God has a different plan for us. Psalm 46:10 He says “Be still, and know that I am God.” There’s a lot to unpack here. But the main thing I take away is the action he gives us. He tells us to be still. To calm down. To stop thinking so much. To stop doing so much. To just simply exist, but exist and abide in Him. I also love the second part of the verse because it’s only after I can recognize that God is my true fulfillment and the Almighty one that I’m able to finally calm down and not let myself go crazy. A few weeks ago I would never expect to be so thankful for this time at home. But now I truly am. I’m thankful for my family and the memories we are currently making. I’m taking this time to get to know God deeply and to let all my worries and anxieties slip out the door. I will choose to be still.” - Alaila Champion
Join us in praying for the class of 2020 and the chapters they are about to embark on.