Notre Dame Academy crest

A photo of Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Class of 2020

Sharing a Close Bond

By: Mattea Vecera

Growing up, I think all kids dream of the day they are finally a senior in high school. It is like the grand finale to your own 13-part coming-of-age TV show. This is the season that you have the most freedom and privileges and are the “rulers of the school.”

Everyone looks forward to senior traditions, sports seasons, the last prom and a traditional graduation. These are moments that create lasting memories from what is supposed to be one of the best times in our lives. But we were robbed of this.

On Thursday, March 5, students and faculty left the halls of Notre Dame Academy for what we thought was a week-long spring break. In the weeks prior to this, passing comments had been made in classrooms about a “virus in China.” Little did we know that the spread of COVID-19 would result in an extended spring break, a transition to online classes and eventually a full shutdown of seemingly everything we were looking forward to.

The universal Class of 2020 quote this year is “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” I’m speaking for all of us when I say that I took a lot of this year for granted. I took for granted assemblies, all-school Mass and sporting events. I took for granted standing in the crowded lunch line at Konop with my friends. I took for granted how comforting a simple hug is. I never thought I would be praying every day to go back to school, or even just to hear that final bell one last time.

Finishing the year with this regret and lack of closure has been a huge challenge. I struggled to find the motivation to get out of bed, let alone complete my assignments on time. Even with extended deadlines and great communication from teachers, I found myself “senior sliding” faster than ever. Many of my friends experienced the same.

However, the NDA community worked very hard to recognize all of the seniors and lift our spirits during this time. Teachers hand-delivered lawn signs, the administration posted a virtual version of the annual Senior Awards ceremony on Facebook and parents even put up a huge banner at the school with individual pictures of all of us. The students are blessed to have so many people going the extra mile for us.

While all of that is amazing and deserves to be recognized, it still doesn’t change the uncertainty the Class of 2020 is feeling. Many colleges have announced that they will be online in the fall, and it is likely that others will follow suit. Some students are also now considering different options than their expected course of action, such as taking a gap year.

The Class of 2020 will share a bond for the rest of our lives. We were born in the wake of 9/11, entered middle school after the Boston Marathon bombing and entered high school when mass shootings became “normal.”

While all of that was difficult enough, now we are ending our high school careers during a worldwide pandemic. Nevertheless, every hardship has made us stronger. We have stayed positive and grown into amazing young adults. From now on, I know we won’t take anything for granted because these few months have proven that whether or not you think it can be taken away, anything can be gone just like that.

About the Author
Mattea Vecera is a 2020 NDA graduate and was a staff writer for the Online Tritonian. In the fall, she plans to attend Syracuse University as a journalism major. In her free time she enjoys writing, listening to music and going out with her friends.

This article appeared in the 2020 NDA Summer Magazine. Read a digital version of the magazine.


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