Bryce Kidwell's story is the first in a series of Falmouth Outlook student reporters sharing their feelings of the pandemic closing their senior year out early.
I remember leaving the building on March 13, 2020. Stepping out those doors and making my way to the bus felt no different than it had for the past three and one half years. To me it felt like we were simply departing for an early extended spring break, and things would be back to normal before I knew it. But it’s been nearly 20 days since I last sat in a classroom, and I’m beginning to wonder if that may have been my last day at Pendleton County High School.
It wasn’t until my freshmen year that I was officially enrolled as a full time student in Pendleton County, but four years has been plenty of time to make memories and friends. As a person I have always had a natural tendency to care about others, even those whose names I don’t know. Being someone diagnosed with high functioning autism, I have always struggled when it comes to interacting with my peers. Over the years I’ve allowed this communicative disability to slowly push me into a sort of isolation, and now here I sit. I miss all of my fellow class mates something fierce. It took a pandemic for me to see how wrong I was in building these metaphorical walls, and I only hope that this virus ends soon leaving me enough time to break them down.
Senior year was something I believe all 200+ of the class of 2020 had been looking forward to for a really long time. Watching the previous graduating classes take part in the graduation march, class night, senior trip, senior prom, among other events organized Mr. Adam Hall and Mrs. Julie Hart was something special. All of these events were orchestrated with the intention to give the graduating class a memorable last year of their primary education. The looks on the faces of those young men and women in their caps and gowns made it clearly evident this was very special to them. However, one can’t really understand the significance of it all until he or she is actually there, walking where those previous graduates did a number of years later.
It’s without question that this year will not be like it was for the dozens of classes that came before the class of 2020. We may not get to perform on stage during class night or attend prom or visit Washington D.C. and New York but however sad it may be, both this pandemic and this pain is are temporary. I realize there are much bigger concerns at the moment than a few celebrations, and I am simply grateful my family and I are together and healthy.
If any of my classmates were to read this, I would encourage them to stay strong. I am fortunate to be a part of such a diverse, strong, and intelligent class. And if things don’t end up going our way and we end up riding out fourth quarter at home, know I am grateful for all of you. Each of you have had an impact on me in one way or another during my time here, and I have no doubt that you have more than it takes to go places in this world. Despite a rough senior year, I will always be proud to be a part of the class of 2020.