Please Don’t Tell Me to “Get Over It”

Photo+from+Hyperbowling

Photo from Hyperbowling

Emma Henry, Copy Editor

The biggest impact this pandemic has had on me is that it has canceled the end of my senior year. Compared to everything else going on in the world, that’s nothing. I know how lucky I am to only be affected in this way, but does that really mean I’m not allowed to be disappointed? I have read the phrase “Are you aware we’re in a global pandemic?” countless times in the past month, and it really bothers me. Are my feelings not valid? Yes, I do understand that we are in a time of global crisis, but shouldn’t I still be allowed to feel angry or upset for myself? Is it selfish for me to cry about my prom being canceled after I’ve dreamed about it for years? Is it wrong for me to be sad that I won’t get to attend my own graduation after I performed “Pomp and Circumstance” during the three graduations before my own?

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal to some people, but I’ve put in 13 years of work and now the best three months of high school have been taken away. And high school seniors aren’t the only ones affected. Weddings are being cancelled and postponed, family vacations are being called off, birthday celebrations are being missed. Fifth graders don’t get to celebrate the end of their elementary school days and college students are missing out on the end of their school year as well. These are all “first world problems” and, frankly, when compared to everything else going on right now, don’t seem like a big deal. But all of the people missing out on those milestones still have a right to be heartbroken and sad. Telling someone that their sadness doesn’t matter because other people have it worse is not going to make them feel better. Writing “Unpopular opinion… life isn’t fair” on a Facebook post doesn’t actually do anything to help. I think the best way to help people like seniors in this time is to just show a little compassion and understanding. 

Try and put yourselves in our shoes and think about how you would feel if your high school career suddenly ended after spring break. Try and imagine how hard it is to have everything you’ve looked forward to throughout high school unexpectedly taken away. It sucks. I don’t even have the words to describe how heartbreaking it is. But I am so thankful that missing the end of my senior year is the biggest issue in my life right now, and I’m sure every other high school senior feels the same. We are not trying to compare our situation to that of the COVID-19 victims and their families, or to the medical staff, essential workers, and all of the people working tirelessly and putting themselves in harm’s way everyday to keep us safe. There is no comparison. Someone will always have a bigger, more important issue, and it’s important to keep that in perspective. That doesn’t mean, though, that my personal issue doesn’t matter. 

Telling seniors to “get over it”, “grow up”, “stop whining”, or “think about someone besides yourself” on social media helps us in no way at all. It may be difficult to understand how I’m feeling if you’re not a high school senior or the parent of one, but please try and show seniors some sympathy. It is really difficult to wrap my head around all of the things my classmates and I have lost so quickly. I understand that my senior year is not a subject of concern for everybody else, and I don’t expect it to be. But even if you don’t agree with me, please don’t make me feel guilty for being sad.