No, your senior portrait doesn’t honor the Class of ‘20

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Call it a symptom of Covid boredom. Recently, Facebook has been deluged with images of Facebookers as seniors. Not senior citizens—that many of us are–but seniors in high school.

I know it’s a thing, older Facebookers posting youthful images for the world to see, but exactly how does this honor today’s students?

I posed that question a couple of weeks ago on Facebook, and was told that vintage photos are meant to be fun. I should lighten up.

Still, this fad doesn’t make sense to me. OK, I’ll call it what it is: a thoughtless reminder to students and their families who are being cheated out of their senior rites of passage, thanks to a world pandemic that’s no fault of their own.

Recently Gov. Roy Cooper announced that public schools will be closed for the rest of the term to protect the health and safety of both students and staff. I get it. What I don’t get is how me posting my senior photo from 48 years ago somehow “honors” the current graduates.

Granted, teens aren’t generally on Facebook, but some of their parents and grandparents are. My posting a senior photo would only rub it in that their loved one is missing out.  The Class of 2020 will have no commencement, honors day, prom. No sports banquet, spring play, band concert or honors day.

If you’re one of the Facebookers who have joined the senior photo trend, I realize I’m stepping on your toes. But like a lot of other silly games and fads that rip through social media, they ‘re all about being part of the flock and harvesting information for potential hackers, though I’m sure my account can be hacked with or without my senior photo to entice them.

I’m sorry that this year’s seniors are being left out of the traditions. I’m sure I would have felt cheated had I not been able to dress in a cap and gown to receive my diploma. Most certainly I would have felt cheated if I had been asked to give a valedictory or salutatory address. I wasn’t asked back in the day, but if I had been ….

I would have likewise felt cheated if I’d missed honors day or not been able to participate in the spring musical and band concert or senior trip, if we’d planned one. All of these give graduating seniors the privilege to revel in those waning days of high school.  

I would have been bummed had I not been able to gather with friends and family to celebrate graduation. Such gatherings usually include more than 10 people and don’t involve social distancing.

That said, I haven’t even mentioned those who will miss college graduation or ceremonies conferring graduate degrees. Imagine completing all that work and not being able to formally celebrate.

Some have suggested that students can have their graduation later. But exactly how would that work? Graduates, if they’re lucky, have jobs or internships or other commitments. Some have signed up to join the military.

No, the time to graduate is when it’s time, not on some arbitrary date in midsummer or early fall.

I realize that I’m probably overthinking this. I should take a deep breath and lighten up, but 2020 isn’t a lighten-up kind of year.

Today’s graduating seniors will be forever bruised by this strange period in history. I’m too much of a realist to not believe that isn’t so.  They will be lucky to head off to college or the military or a job without having to wear a facemask.

My photo on Facebook won’t change any of that.