We Are All Missing Out, You Are Not Special

Rebekah Rahman, Copy Editor

As a senior this year, it is hard to think about the multitude of events and activities that my junior-self once eagerly looked forward to. The feeling of walking down the halls of the school and knowing that it would not be long before I could walk right out and never look back. The unfair advantage of winning every game at pep rallies simply for being a member of the graduating class. Sitting front and center at football games that we rarely win, while being decked out in the finest Issaquah High attire that the PTSA and ASB could come up with. Sympathetically watching the freshmen complain about assignments that are long-forgotten and reassuring the juniors that their SAT-induced anxiety will not last forever. All of these things make-up the quintessential high school senior experience. Most of us were already humbled by the realization that it would never live up to the High School Musical hype fed to us in elementary school. Of course, among several other far more important areas of our lives, the pandemic has made all this next to impossible. Since March, most of us have come to begrudgingly accept that our senior year festivities will be greatly filtered by our glitchy webcams, Canvas, and the ever-confusing Zoom software. Well, some of us.

For whatever self-absorbed reason, there have been numerous public social-media posts spamming my feed of people at “fake hocos.” To make matters worse, they are primarily people from this year’s graduating class. No masks, large groups, hugged-up in front of an iPhone, posing as if they are not amid a pandemic that has affected all of our lives. However, it seems unfair to simply label these people as uninformed or ignorant. I do not wish to undermine their intelligence. I believe these groups of people know exactly what they are doing and the risks involved. They have just made it abundantly clear to us that they simply do not care. They see their desire to have the full high school experience with their homies as a priority, a priority that takes precedence over the well-being of their so-called friends and their family members. This particular idea is important, as the consistent arguments from those parties is that COVID-19 does not tend to harm our age-group, it is only a risk for those willingly-involved, and it is their right to affect their lives in whatever manner they see fit. Once again, I will not question the intelligence of these groups by defining terms like “asymptomatic” or “carriers” because I really believe that they have the same access to this information just like everyone else. They just seem to think that they should be able to partake in senior year activities like those before them (as long as they neglect to remember that last year’s seniors had to deal with the same thing). 

For me, it is quite shocking how bold people are in their selfishness. To willingly pose for an Instagram photo in formal attire and to create a quirky caption with #senioryear and #hoco2020 is beyond me. At least rich influencers and celebrities have the decency to let their followers know that they only took their mask off so it would not impede on the overall aesthetic of their photo-op. At the end of the day, these people are not my friends, so I personally do not run the risk of being affected by them. If anything, I hope this serves as a reminder that you are not alone in your feelings of loneliness, boredom, stress, anxiety, and sadness over this “new normal,” so do not act like it. Remember that the tiny bubble that frames your worldview does not protect everyone else from a virus of this magnitude. You are not alone in your wish to live your senior year to the fullest. It does not make you special.