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Take back your senior year

Gracie Havens selfie of group of high school girls
MEMORIES: What do you do when your senior year is virtual and remote? Find your gang. Make some breakfast together. Take back your senior year.
No football, no homecoming, no concerts and more. Here’s how we’re making new memories and lemonade out of stinky lemons.

We got a solid week and a half of school in.

Then came the first positive COVID-19 case. And the directions for remote learning. And the tears.

For every high school senior — including the one in my house — this was a blow. Like a knife. Like salt in the wound. Because even though we’d spent a lot of the summer pre-grieving the fact that her senior year was not going to be like it should’ve been, reality is still really hard.

All over Illinois, this year means no football games, no Homecoming, no plays, no concerts, no FFA convention, no choir, no marching band, no student council, no dress-up days, and on and on and on. Name a traditional rite of high school passage that was actually fun, and you can pretty much figure it’s not gonna happen. Yes, good things have come from the quarantine. But loss is still loss.

 So what do you do?

I told my girl the other day, you have start over. Make your own memories. Take back your senior year! So she invited a few girls over for breakfast, and they made French toast and eggs and bacon, and they laughed and talked and it was so, so good.

So we’ll keep doing that, when it’s safe. We’ll have Friday night bonfires. We’ll have breakfasts and lunches here and there. We’ll cry when we have to. But we’ll make our own memories, and we’ll make lemonade out of some pretty crummy rotten lemons. Because we’re on the farm, and we can social distance around a bonfire.

Young friends, it’s OK to feel all the things you’re feeling. This whole thing stinks for you, and we can’t fix it. Be sad for a while. Cry the tears. Then pick yourself up and dust yourself off, and set about making your own memories.

Take back your senior year.

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