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A Special Letter from a Senior Student to the Class of 2020!
Dear WPHS Class of 2020,
I’ve tried to start this letter with so many sentences. I thought about saying hi or starting with some memories. I thought about describing the last day we were in school or opening it with redundant details of everything we’ve heard on the news and the hope that we’ve all almost lost. I even tried starting it with the ole, “I don’t even know where to start.” But none of it felt right, and the truth is I really don’t know where to start.
The last day we were all together was March 13th, Friday the 13th in fact. Our last day of high school ever was Friday the 13th. Ironic isn’t it? It’s like the universe wanted one last laugh before indefinitely shutting down. We knew closing was inevitable because by that time, the lights had gone out on Broadway, Disneyland had stopped producing magic, and no one could root for their favorite teams anymore. By that time, the world already felt like the most devastating sci-fi novel, as Italy’s morgues ran out of space and no one in China had been out for weeks.
I don’t know about you, but that last week of school felt weird for me. We awaited the Facebook Lives from Dr. Ricca, used hand sanitizers everytime we entered a class, and by the end of the week over 70 teachers didn’t come to school. We walked around in a daze, wondering what fate we’d be met with. And although everything around the world seemed to be postponing its purpose, White Plains High School, and its senior class in particular, still had some of its spark. In the midst of the chaos, our normal was only partially interrupted.
The week of that infamous Friday the 13th we still woke up just to pull into Student and see the sun rising over our hills. We still went on our Dunkin runs, and stopped for our Roosters sandwiches. Some of us even went to Domingos every week. We still walked our friends to class, and sat in the same spots during lunchtime. We all continued to get crushed by the mass of people coming out of A building, and we knew that we could always smile at that one friend between 3rd and 4th period. And although some others decided they sometimes wouldn’t go, the majority of us could walk into our favorite classes with the craziest mix of people and know that those 42 minutes would be filled with antics and laughter. We went to our clubs and planned our prom and found ways to raise money. We walked into class excited to find our favorite substitutes, Mr. Bareggo and Mr. Rosenberg, ready to tell us stories and listen to our drama. We walked through the courtyard for fresh air and tried to avoid being hit by volleyballs. We made Tik Tok videos and chilled in the atrium and talked about life with Mr. B, the security guard. And at the end of the day we walked out after the bell into the warm sun and knew we could come back the next day and do it all over again.
But now all of that seems so far away. All of our everyday moments seem too precious now, and we spend days thinking about how we could have cherished them. We regret things we didn’t get to try and think of what could’ve, should’ve, and would’ve been. We reminisce about what used to be our normal, and have the thoughts seniors usually do when it’s all over. The thing is, we weren’t supposed to have those thoughts yet because it wasn’t supposed to be over. We weren’t supposed to leave school on Friday the 13th and not know if we’d ever go back. It was supposed to be our year.
People can say it was a good run, or that it was fun while it lasted. But in our hearts it was supposed to be a marathon, and it was supposed to last longer. Now all that’s left is the feeling we got the Friday before a big game, the excitement in the air following a touchdown or a goal, when the world all slows down just for a few moments. The love we felt from our friends, whether it was from their senior game posters, or cheering you on at songwriters, or even showing up to your house at 8am on a Saturday to practice your dance for the talent show. The victorious feeling from finally beating Port Chester and rushing onto the field to cheer our infamous Dubset chant. The pride we still have from winning the soccer Sectional Semi finals and when we finished the Talent Show knowing that we danced every step correctly. The intensity of when fights started at a game, or the buzzing holiday bazaars, and the overflowing support of our football team during CODA homecoming. All of those feelings deserved to be drawn out as long as possible. We deserved to feel just like we did at the color wars party in Student. We deserved to feel like we were on top of the world.
And I know that compared to other situations, this is not the worst. Around the world there’s a horrifying amount of deaths, and the economy is tumbling. Everyday health care workers risk their lives to save others, and sacrifice their own family time so other families can be together again. I know our situation pales in comparison to the lives lost, and the amount suffering. What is happening around the world, both health wise and economically, is truly a tragedy. My heart aches for the families who can’t visit their loved ones in the hospital, and find ways to honor their lives. It aches for the nurses and doctors whose reality consists of a series of daily catastrophes, as the magnitude of which is something many of us will never understand.
But I want you to know that it’s okay to be sad, devastated even about our own little world. It’s okay to be pissed off. It’s okay to feel like something has been taken from you. But if there’s one thing I know it’s that our class is strong, and we are resilient, and we are passionate. We will get through this just like we got through the bomb threat in 8th grade and the lockdown on Halloween our senior year. Or how about those power outages at Highlands? Or the times we protested against gun violence and came together on Peace One Day. We are so unified and so strong that maybe instead of wanting to laugh at us, the universe knew we could handle it. And yeah I’m making this up just to make myself feel better, but as I sit here crying, I have never been more thankful to be a part of such a community.
There’s so much love surrounding our class, and the home we all share. We’ve always been each other’s biggest support system, so it’s weird that in the time we need it most, we can’t be together. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that we’ll all carry the spirit of Dubset in our hearts wherever we go because that spirit is unmatched. I know you all know it so yell it as loud as you can from your own homes until we can be together……. DUUUUUBBBBSSEEEEETTTTT
Love always and Dubset forever,