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Unfinished Farewells: Seniors Miss Out On Graduation Milestones Due To Coronavirus

Hugo Phan

The unexpected and abrupt end to the school year last month means the Class of 2020 will miss spring milestones like prom, awards banquets and graduation.

We asked Maize High School seniors Abby McCoy and Casey Loving to check in with their peers at high schools throughout the Wichita area on how they're coping with the loss of end-of-school traditions.

Casey Loving – Maize High

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When I first heard school was canceled, I couldn't believe it. I was completely dumb-stricken. I was bummed out — I mean, what else is there to say.

There were plenty of things — like my final newsmag, my final choir concert, my prom that I was looking forward to — that I knew were no longer going to happen.

Everyone in the world has something to grieve over right now, and that's okay. I knew that from the beginning, but I also think there's this small pain that I'm going to carry with me for a while that I didn't get to end things how I wanted.

Amy Pham – Kapaun Mt. Carmel

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My cousins and I, we graduate every year after each other, and I was the last one to finish off that graduation ceremony. I don't think I'm going to experience that, which does make me sad.

I was very sad at first initially, but at the same time, I started finding a deeper understanding about the things around me. I realized that I took a lot of things about school for granted.

Sabrina Flint – Goddard Eisenhower

Credit Michael Bankston
Michael Bankston

The school that we know it was no more. No prom, no graduation, no senior prank, no "lasts" for the senior Class of 2020 that we've been looking forward to for the past four years. I was angry, felt cheated, hatred and felt very alone.

I want to tell my classmates this: I hope we will all reunite one day and show the world that we persevered yet together again throughout this tough time and did not give up hope.

Abby McCoy – Maize High

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In the past few weeks, I've exchanged more "I miss you's" than I probably ever have in my whole life.

We left without a proper goodbye. It's OK to mourn. We lost something. It's okay to feel sad, worried and uncertain.

Dan Archer – Derby

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I think the hardest thing for every senior out there is just the lack of closure.

We miss the days of being able to walk down halls and see that teacher you had sophomore year ... that you make it a point to go see them. Now, we don't ever see them anymore, and in reality, we probably are never going to see them again.

Trey Rios – Maize South

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Having track season canceled was definitely a big disappointment especially when you train four years to finally come to this point and hoping you could step up on that podium one more time.

If I had to say one thing to the classes below us that I've learned, it's all about the journey, not the destination, and it's all those memories from the past four years that I've learned to really appreciate now.

Lolly Newman – Wichita Collegiate

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You know, growing up and seeing everybody in their cap and gowns, it's just something I've been looking forward to as kind of a final farewell to high school. The fact that high school ended on a random Friday is a little off-putting.

I guess if there is one thing I could say is as much as I was ready for high school to end, I wasn't done. But I know that I am going to go on to do bigger and more important things.

Kellen Hagans – Northeast Magnet

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It's completely valid to be sad and feel lost over these things that we have lost, but be aware of the state of the world right now.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.