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The LEAP Student Blog

We're In This Together

Allison Yajko
Skyview High School, Class of 2020

Ironic that the year of 2020 has held the events that it has. The number ‘2020’, associated with clear vision, unintentionally made a metaphor for itself translating to excitement towards an unproblematic year filled with success and accomplished goals. So far, 2020 has been anything but. Instead of clear vision, eyes were blinded by haze from Australian wildfires, circled with bruises on the faces of healthcare professionals working tirelessly in hospitals and clinics during the COVID-19 outbreak, and filled with tears as the death of Kobe Bryant was announced in late January. So much could be elaborated on all three of those events, however I am sharing today what the extent of COVID-19 has looked like in my community and in my school.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little excited when it was announced that school was going to be cancelled until late April. As spring rolls around every school year, you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it seems to be a downhill slide to the last day of school. What wasn’t expected was that downhill slide to turn into an extremely slippery slope of anxiety, fear and uncertain faith in the health of our world. Whether or not school would be cancelled was openly talked about by teachers and was common conversation between students as neighboring states and districts were beginning to shut their schools doors. Later on the Friday that school was cancelled, the novelty of a ?very? long spring break wore off and it began to sink in that what we were experiencing what will one day be a chapter in a history book. Day-to-day, the news was already basically only consisting of COVID-19 updates but it was still so easy to ignore because our regular lives as students had not yet been interrupted. But man, were they.

As a senior and participant in cross country and gymnastics, I escaped the heartbreak of having a final spring sports season taken from me, but many of my friends did not. This would be their last chance to compete if they are not furthering their athletic career in college. The spring sports cancellation was a particularly hard pill to swallow for senior athletes, trying to navigate a way to be rightfully upset while still respecting and understanding the necessary circumstances. As a member on the WIAA Leap Committee, I’ve gotten the chance to work with those who determine decisions like cancelling spring sports, and more than anything, they desire the safety and health of participants to not be in question.
Looking back, I regret those brief feelings of excitement when school got cancelled and would do just about anything to go back. As a senior, the cancellation has been difficult to cope with. Springtime is when most of the important events for seniors happen, the ones that you’ve looked forward to since freshman year, and to have them abruptly taken away from you is quite an indescribable feeling. My heartstrings are torn in many different directions. Lonely because I can’t see my friends, sad because people are losing loved ones, angry for having about the events that have been taken away, and guilty for feeling such resentment when others have it so much worse. While everyone's hearts are most likely playing Twister as well, I feel that humanity's heart is, as a whole, in a good place.

I firmly believe that when an event like this takes place, the only thing we have to hold onto is each other. When everything seems to be in shambles, the support and love we can provide for others is one of the few things that can lift spirits during such a difficult time. While it is a rocky road trying to keep the big picture in mind (the big picture being staying home), it is a daily reminder that humanity is always in everything together. Even if ‘together’ looks like quarantining in your home. Upon returning to everyday life, it will be interesting to see how many will hug friends and family a little tighter, wash their hands more often, and be quicker to say “thank you” to those working behind the scenes. As I stated in the beginning, the year 2020 was deceitful in what it would bring, but the amount of adapting, learning and responding that has taken place has done nothing but help us prepare for a clearer future, should this type of cooperation be required again. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you and yours are maintaining optimism, health, and social distance.


From: Mrs. Wales 4/9/2020 11:38 am

I am so proud of former students, like Allison, who are using their voices to share, soothe, and encourage people to come together. Alli, I am SO proud of your emotional piece above. I know this isn't what you expected for the end of the year, but you're building resiliency and strength. You, and your classmates, have the opportunity to learn from this experience and make the changes to the world we all need. Go forth. Love you!

From: Rosemary Knapp 4/10/2020 10:22 am

Kudos, Allison, on a well-written, thoughtful, and honest response to your unexpected senior year experience. Nicely done!

From: Kim Rosendale 7/23/2020 12:08 pm

Congratulations Senior Class of 2020 Graduate! Allison, you are an inspiring person, athlete and student writer! I really enjoyed your piece with all your well thought out choices of adjectives, metaphors and emotions. I wish you continued success in college.

You’re future is as right as you are,
Coach Rosendale
TJMS Track Coach

April 2020

4/26/2020 Remember What's Important
4/17/2020 Renewed Appreciation
4/13/2020 Stay Strong, Stay Determined
4/9/2020 We're In This Together
4/7/2020 High School Roller Coaster
4/5/2020 On Hold
4/4/2020 You Don't Know What You Have Until It's Gone
4/2/2020 Heartbroken

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